(NaturalHealth365) On July 8, Food Navigator USA published an interview with Dr. Roger Beachy, CEO, Global Institute for Food Security. Beachy, a professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of the Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology from 1978-1991, is best known as the godfather of GMOs as he helped develop the first genetically modified food in 1986; a disease-resistant transgenic tomato.
Beachy became infamous after discovering coat protein-mediated-resistance (CPMR); the process of transferring and expressing the coat protein gene of a virus in plants, thereby genetically engineering plants to resist viral infection. His discovery of CPMR led to the outbreak of virus-resistant food crops such as: cucumber, papaya, pepper, plum potato, pepper, squash, sugar beets, and tomato.
GMO guru baffled by the March Against Monsanto
Giving his perspective on the current GMO debate, Beachy told Food Navigator USA that he was baffled by the organized March Against Monsanto because, “I want what they want: safe food and sustainable agriculture…I too want to know where my food comes from.”
Deceiving the world with false pretenses of saving our land – Beachy says…
“We will only be successful if there is an acceptance and integration of all kinds of different agriculture practices. For example, some people think that for agriculture to be sustainable it has to be small. It can’t be small and feed 10 billion people, the projected world population by 2050.”
“The key is that we must take better care of our soil.”
“If we use no-till agriculture, better control crop rotations and manage fertilizer use, and reduce the losses caused from erosion agriculture production will be improved. Some GM crops drive increased use of no-till agriculture, thereby reducing the use of farm machinery, saving fuel and power and it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
As for living in harmony with nature, when have we ever managed that, he asks? “Mother Nature is not a benevolent force.”
Anti-GMO activities labeled as liars!
As Beachy concedes that there are legitimate concerns about glyphosate-resistant weeds, resistant insects and poor regulatory processes governing GMOs. However, he insists that in regards to food safety that, “Some of the statements you see from anti-GMO campaigners, they just have no basis in fact. It’s remarkable – they are just flat out lies.”
He likens the argument that GMOs are harmful to a rich populace stigma by stating, “This is a reflection of the arrogance of plenty, the luxury of choice.”
What makes someone so dense to reality?
Born to a conservative Amish small-farming family in Ohio, it’s a wonder Beachy turned out the way he did. According to Scientific American, “Beachy sees no irony between his rustic, low-tech boyhood and a career spent developing new types of agricultural technologies. For him, genetic manipulation of food plants is a way of helping preserve the traditions of small farms by reducing the amount of chemicals farmers have to apply to their crops.”
Like organic farmers who, according to Beachy, want to reduce the use of chemical pesticides, “The reason I got into biotech in the early 1980s was because I wanted to reduce the use of chemical pesticides in food production. I wanted to see if we could develop disease resistance by using genetics rather than agrichemicals. It’s more sustainable and in the long run it will leave us with a cleaner environment.”
In 2009, Beachy was appointed by President Obama as the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), where he controlled the $1.5 billion budget for Big Ag’s future until he suddenly resigned in 2011. During his tenure at NIFA, he led the establishment of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the federal government’s only agriculture-focused investigator-initiated grants program.
Beachy came to this position from the Danforth Plant Science Center, where he had served as President since its founding back in 1998. Neighbors with Monsanto in St. Louis, Danforth has long and deep ties to Monsanto.
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