That some would be angry about the creation of safe food would seem, on the surface of it anyway, to be quite puzzling. Yet unfortunately that’s exactly the case with some anti-biotech activists who are opposing a science that not only improves crop quality and food production, but also has positive effects on the environment.

     The Worldwatch Institute, for one, made its hopeful predictions several years ago that genetically engineered seeds will be used by a lot less American farmers in the year 2000. Gratefully, the exact opposite happened with biotech plantings having increased in 2000 and every year since. This year, in fact, about 74 percent of the soy, 32 percent of the corn, and 71 percent of the cotton grown in America will be genetically engineered.

     And why are producers and consumers saying yes to biotechnology, despite the grumblings of its critics?

     Well a study done by the National Center for Food & Agricultural Policy (NCFAP) may have revealed the answer when it showed that “Corn farmers are paying on average an extra $6.50 per acre for this technology and getting $8 or $9 back on that.” . What that means, of course, is that Biotechnology makes money for the farmer.

     And what’s more, it’s good for the environment.

     According to Martina McGloughlin, director of the Davis Biotechnology Program at the University of California, farmers “Spend less time formulating complex cocktails of chemicals and a lot less time spraying.”

     A variety of sweet corn with built-in protection against insects dramatically reduces the need for insecticides. Other technologies make it so that farmers do not have to continuously till their fields, which is good for topsoil retention and small wildlife.

     Why would someone be glad to think that genetically altered plants are on the wane? Who knows. But we can all be thankful that it is attentive consumers and resourceful producers who are deciding the fate of biotechnology, not the overly-excitable and under-informed.

Author