I recently returned from a conference on the co-existence of genetically modified food (GMO) with other food, such as organic. The meeting was on November 17-20 in Amsterdam, which was rainy, cold and windy, an unpleasant departure from the sunny and dry climate of drought-stricken Berkeley that I have grown … More >
Recently I was interviewed for an article published in California Magazine. It is a well-written article about the controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I made my usual points: GMOs have actually done much good by reducing commodity prices, increasing yields, saving land and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving … More >
I grew up in a religious family but I am not particularly religious. I believe that there is (are) some Supreme Being(s) above us, but I consider the religious narrative and beliefs of organized religion to be fiction; albeit fiction with many useful lessons, but nevertheless, fiction.
One of my favorite … More >
In the last several weeks, I gave talks on sustainable development and technology in China as well as in several forums in the US. I stated my strong belief that the use of molecular and cell technologies in agriculture (one of their main applications is in genetically modified [GM] products) … More >
We recently learned that the 2013 World Food Prize was awarded to three biotechnology scientists, Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the United States, for developing methods of inserting genes from various organisms to plant cells. I find this recognition to be justified … More >
The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a lawsuit by the agri-business giant Monsanto against an Indiana farmer. In Bowman v. Monsanto, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman has petitioned the Supreme Court to review Monsanto’s lawsuit against him for purchasing and planting seeds that apparently contained Monsanto’s patent protected anti-herbicide genome … More >
I was a strong opponent of Proposition of 37 and I am quite satisfied that it did not pass; but its failure serves more than vindication. It has interesting implications for the attitude of California on environmental issues, the future of GMOs, and the future of technology in general.
The truth … More >
As we approach election day, my neighborhood in Berkeley has sprouted dozens of blue and orange yard signs supporting Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified foods.
The “Right to Know” has become the rallying cry of the initiative’s backers, who meet any criticism of the initiative, its … More >
Many view the ‘bioeconomy’, as a key element of the future. While in the past, many vital activities were dependent on non-renewable inputs such petroleum based chemicals, the bioeconomy which utilizes advanced tools of modern biology, will yield products that are renewable and produced from plants and other organic matter … More >