Utne Blogs > Environment

Organic Farming, Meet Genetic Engineering

by Cally Carswell 

Tags: Environment, organic farming, genetic engineering, population growth, food security, Conservation magazine,

“It is time to abandon the caricatures of genetic engineering that are popular among some consumers and activists and instead see it for what it is: a tool that can help the ecological farming revolution grow into a lasting movement with global impact,” argues Pamela Ronald in Conservation magazine (scroll down page).

Ronald’s proposition is a provocative one for organic advocates, who tend to think of genetic engineering as a dirty word. But Ronald says that’s precisely the problem. She contends that avoiding environmental devastation in the effort to feed the world’s swelling population requires repositioning organic farming and genetic engineering as partners in an agricultural movement rather than adversaries.

“Pitting genetic engineering and organic farming against each other only prevents the transformative changes needed on our farms,” writes Ronald. “Without good science and good farming, we cannot even begin to dream about establishing an ecologically balanced, biologically based system of farming and ensuring food security.”