Genetically modified organisms or GMOs seem to become more controversial every day. But most opponents of GMO technologies fail to acknowledge that nature has been genetically modifying crops since the beginning of time. Monsanto’s Robb Fraley discussed how many plants have evolved so they have become much more useful to man. He was interviewed at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
Fraley, who will receive the World Food Prize along with two other biotechnology pioneers in Des Moines, Iowa, next month, notes that corn was once a plant that was smaller than a man’s finger. But today it has a gene package that makes it one of the most versatile and beneficial crops ever grown.
Seedless grapes and Zima tomatoes are other examples of genetic modification that have been beneficial to man. Yet environmental groups rarely mention these when deriding the accomplishments of biotechnology.
Monsanto, meanwhile, continues to develop new traits using advances such as RNAis, to help farmers grow more food while applying fewer pesticides.