News / USA

Kerry Praises Genetically Modified Crops

Kerry Praises Genetically Modified Cropsi
X
June 20, 2013 11:32 AM
The World Food Prize Foundation has announced that its prestigious prize this year goes to three scientists who helped advance the development of genetically modified crops. The announcement Wednesday in Washington comes just weeks after protesters worldwide demonstrated against genetically modified food.
Zlatica Hoke
The World Food Prize Foundation has announced that its prestigious prize this year goes to three scientists who helped advance the development of genetically modified crops.  The announcement Wednesday in Washington comes just weeks after protesters worldwide demonstrated against genetically modified food.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday the United States supports the use of biotechnology to develop so-called "smart" crops that can withstand droughts and floods and require less fertilization. 

"So we save money and we save the environment and we save lives," he said. "It is a virtuous circle.  And through innovation, we believe we can help alleviate the level of hunger and malnutrition today, but more than that, we can, hopefully, live up to our responsibilities for the future."

Kerry spoke as the World Food Prize Foundation director, former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Kenneth Quinn, announced that Belgian Marc Van Montagu and Americans Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert Fraley were being recognized for pioneering achievements in agricultural biotechnology. 

"And their work led to the development of a host of biologically and genetically enhanced crops that are now grown on a 170 million hectares by over 17 million farmers worldwide. Over 90 percent are small resource poor farmers in developing countries," said Quinn. "We're now able to grow crops with improved yields, resistance to insects and disease, and tolerance against extreme variation in climate."

The United States is the world's biggest producer and consumer of genetically modified food, and the U.S.-based Monsanto company is the world's largest developer of genetically altered crops.  The company has engineered crops that thrive in some of the world's worst climates and can protect themselves from diseases and pests.  The U.S. has promoted these crops as part of a solution to alleviate world hunger.  But many countries avoid genetically engineered plants fearing harmful long-term effects.

Last month, environmentalists and food safety groups organized a global protest against genetically modified food.  Protesters in the southern city of  Knoxville, Tennessee demanded labeling of genetically modified food products.

"Tell people what's in their food," said a woman protester.  "Let them know if there are genetically modified organisms in their food or not."

"Corporations in collusion with our government oftentimes don't make the best decisions that are right for the long-term health of our children," said another protester.

Proponents of the genetically enhanced crops argue there is no scientific evidence that they can cause any harm, while the world's growing population raises the global demand for food.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Makakoa from: AZ
June 20, 2013 7:19 PM
Not on my table!


by: Ian from: USA
June 20, 2013 12:41 PM
I hope Mr. Kerry will feed his family with nothing but food from genetically modified crops that he praised . As a normal average American I would love to have my food labeled clearly of it source , if it is GMO, so I can make my own decision whether I should put it in my body .

In Response

by: amos from: pa
June 20, 2013 6:50 PM
GMO = God Move Over . How could anything against the laws of the universe be good for one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid