A front-page story in today’s NY Times reports on efforts in Florida to save the orange industry from a disease that has been turning millions of oranges half-green. The answer seems to be to modify the DNA of the oranges to fight off the bacteria causing the disease. But as soon as you start talking about modifying the genes of an agricultural crop, the protesters come out of the woodwork, armed not with science, but with fear.
The blogosphere is already full of complaints about genetically modified organisms and Monsanto, the leading ag-biotech company in that field. But as geneticist Nina Federoff explained on my America Weekend show, there’s no evidence of humans being harmed by GMOs in our food. Moreover, the practice of changing a plant’s DNA has been going on for a very long time, so we have a pretty good data set that proves that GMOs have been good for the world’s food supply.
Once again, it comes down to a simple question — why do people believe everything they read online, but not the scientists who are actually making the world a better place? Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!