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Genetic Engineering Could Provide A Defense Against Today’s Agricultural Plagues

December 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Though organic food advocates won’t agree, a variety of agricultural afflictions – disease, drought, storms, heat, insects – is making the use of genetically modified plants an attractive answer to the question: How will we feed the world? In Ireland, for example, potato blight, a familiar scourge, continues to be a problem. The country’s agricultural agency, Teagasc, is testing whether GM potato plants modified with a resistant gene from South American plants can withstand the blight. Turns out, the plant “has performed well”. But because of controversy over use of GM plants raging in Europe and elsewhere, Irish farmers won’t have access to the new strain, perhaps for a very long time.
David Rotman , "Why We Will Need Genetically Modified Foods", MIT Technology Review, December 17, 2013, © MIT Technology Review
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