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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs