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Crop Biotech Update

"GMOs Are Vital Against Hunger," Says Nobel Laureate Sir Richard J. Roberts

July 4, 2018

During the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting held on June 24-29, 2018, Nobel Laureate Sir Richard J. Roberts delivered an Agora Talk about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) emphasizing the benefits of GMOs and how they can provide nutritious food to developing countries across the globe.

On June 26, 2018, Roberts, who is leading the initiative "Laureates Letter Supporting Precision Agriculture (GMOs)," a campaign of 133 Nobel Laureates supporting GMOs, delivered an impassioned speech to a room full of people. He said, "There are 800 million hungry people in the world, for them, food is like medicine!" In fact, he continues, taking a look at today's crops and vegetables, "pretty much everything we eat today has already been genetically modified compared to the original plants."

The 1993 Nobel Laureate also discussed the serious consequences of the backlash that GMOs have received. Using Golden Rice as an example, he said that deliberately ignoring the science that underpins GMOs is foolish and dangerous. Millions of children have died or suffered developmental impairment because of a lack of Vitamin A in their diet. Golden Rice could reverse this, but has become a target of the Green parties because it is a GMO. He also asked, How many more children must die before this is considered a crime against humanity?

For more details, read the blog article and view the video of the presentation at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting website.