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8-26 10am Garland, untrustworthy foods

Aug 26, 2014|

Would you eat genetically modified foods? Are they the horror we’ve been told or will they be a saving grace? Experts say the global food supply is in danger, and the solution for feeding the expanding population may be GMO’s. garland speaks to Doug Gurian-Sherman, Director of Sustainable Agriculture at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- -- date to the emerald dream to become one of the portions rails during or more. Old people and you're young people good thing or bad thing people living a lot longer. One of the -- spots I'd -- year. Tell people about Social Security whipped by -- says if you turn 65 today or recently. And the last couple years you were an average age -- -- pork from them in these six women. And no one saw and the absurdly good thing we're living longer book. What happens to -- young Q boarded -- and should be currently what happened to shall troops I don't know what and -- health care. We're gonna bring you know a couple of demographers one from the pink tank and one for -- -- who we easier and better understand that. Ambled back -- BP video promised to quote make it brought. Looked like they're backtracking. On and overthrew at least. Those the expected to get lead by BP B four BP reports from chronic illnesses. Organ thing they're backtracking would be pleased that they're just going by the letter of the law. This hour. It's something I've been interested in prolong -- you know. Genetically modified. Organisms. Full. It's it's something that I'll have bought the cry that this is bad because some months and no birdies uses. Poison. This will destroy. Agriculture. Industry over the long term health problems and whatever. I was listening and you are over the weekend and they mentioned. Article called seeds of doubt. And it's about an Indian environmentalists. One dollar -- -- well. Who is apparently the mother reached did you move by. -- it was openings seemed like the reporters done a lot of homework in the seeds of doubt or he is -- So long that things that people like me have long balloon bully. Sort of veteran says we go to -- experts were -- -- in Sherman director of sustainable agriculture. Center for food safety in Washington DC Doug thank you broke drugs appreciated the call sure to be with if you have -- his article did you. I did the yet. I kinda took a quick. Read that a couple days ago after after it came out. What do you think boy and what I look. What -- -- words show Lewis is. She said that -- there were patenting. -- and in the seeds are costly packets of intellectual property. The -- and -- company like that protect and there are protected. While the World Bank the World Trade Organization the United States government. Even Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Here is that true or is that not true it's somewhere in between. Well I mean that others stay away from rhetoric as a scientist. You know that's been trained in molecular biology. Science art genetic engineers that -- -- engineering and as a plant pathologist. You know we try to look at the data and see what we can make of that. It is true that these crops are patented. Is the patent laws here the globally in the US. You can get a utility patent on the jeans or even crop varieties. That's true that some other as developed countries as well. And that certainly put restrictions and on what you can do with that -- you can't say that -- in most countries. But -- there was some dispute about what you can in India are -- in the article and am not an expert at capitalized India. It sounds like that things may have changed. Partly due to the African and achieve that too. Increase the access to these -- -- keep the price down. One of the issues in the article was the theory I -- price certainly the upright -- has gone up dramatically all over the world. When these traits are put into these crops. You know the company's claim that it's more than that the farmers have more than compensated by. In higher profits and studies have had terrible results as to whether the profits are. Higher award sometimes they seem to be in in other cases it's not clear that the change certainly worse. We're the use. So and it depends on the combination of genes and where they used and so -- but it's absolutely true that. Global basis. These scenes are usually patented but genes are patented. That prevents farmers receiving the -- if they want to save it and replanting it is has been done. Historically by farmers. And it also restricts researchers. If you're a scientist. Use. Have to get permission from the companies to do research. There's been -- big debate about this over the last couple years the law is. Clearly is on the side of the companies presenting research. There should be a researcher exclusion in the patent laws we don't have one. The companies now claimed that you know they have on a voluntary basis made these seats available to research institutions. But none of it has been really disclose to the public. We don't know what those agreements are for. Opening up research we don't know what what institutions have them and so on so we're really just taking -- company's work -- itself the patenting issues certainly has changed dramatically. Policies used in the -- access to farmers and researchers and so on. Hearted to would get about an article in the a New Yorker Magazine get a chance reached pretty good colts seeds and Al. -- -- talking about one of the activists. That is. Considered. The world's leading advocate for the fight against genetically modified food. -- -- Doug Arian with the lead dog do arraigned Sharma director of sustainable. Agriculture. Center for food safety and Washington DNC. -- in this story that every couple accurate from the cents. The global food supplies is indeed in danger by the end of the center at the world may very well have a -- and they accommodate. Ten billion inhabitants. More food in the next seven people I've yours then has been produced in all human history may be required. Can we do it with the -- genetically modified -- Most likely yes I mean there's been absolutely no evidence that either genetically engineered crops. Will it did help greatly helped food production and certainly at that record up till now is that sure that they have. And made it needs. Substantial commute should contributions to the production that it's really important understand a couple of things first of all. Specter the opportunity article mentions the bad ankle ailment in nineteen. 43 as an example of what can happen we don't produce enough food. But that was that -- and others have been shown to not be a function of food production we produce enough food and we can produce enough food. Depending on how we do it then and what choices we make. It was a it was a function of poverty. And the markets then one of the world's great economist won the Nobel Prize for showing just that so. Right away there's red flags in the article one of many. Debt are either -- that's true source selective use of data on the part of Specter that really distort. The whole picture back to get two years specific question. Most of that productivity increases. Over the last century and continuing. In including the presence. Are either from conventional breeding. And including. Major advances in conventional breeding. And improved economy. And I don't think there's any reason to think that that we could not continue to make substantial advances provided we put. Our resources. Into those. It into the research and development to improve. Those approaches genetic engineering is one way to them potentially improve the genetics of crop. But it's only one way and so far and from what I can see looking at the science. There's no evidence to suggest that we can't do without genetic engineering by using. Conventional breeding in advance breeding methods that don't reliant genetic engineering and that's what the data off all ship and that's what many many scientists say including. Recent papers in the prestigious journal nature. Were a whole slew of geneticist and breeders'. Say that we barely scratched the surface of the potential breeding to improve productivity. And we also have a lot of other choices. High production of food. That -- talks about is partly dependent on our increasing consumption of meat globally which is an incredibly inefficient way to produce protein. So if we. Can find a way to make choices to not become vegetarians but to to at least. Eat meat in a way that's helpful. And flavorful but not. The kind of meat consumption that Americans. Currently. They have. Hopefully what we do that you talking about cutting. Well -- I mean it's it's unclear you know you know how it could come about but yet but it -- in for example mean Gary. Beef production is incredibly inefficient it takes about ten times more of everything to produce beef but it does a poultry for example. Or for pork. Or for dairy products and so even about even with choices which in. Livestock production we can greatly increase efficiencies so. We we have choices and I'm not suggesting that any but again the people should become vegetarians are. That occasionally -- -- states. But those kind of choices may be made through the marketplace has as those. Does sources become. More expensive but but but we also waste. Forty if it's thirty to 40% of our food. In developed countries just through the kind of waste we see in restaurants in refrigerators and so on. And the developing countries more importantly because they don't have adequate food storage or they lose it you know from the field and and market and so on. And its other that the point is there are a lot of potential options. For producing enough food sustainably in the future. And really one of the fastest to use sophisticated. -- ecological methods to grow our food which. -- have been shown to improve resiliency to reduce pollution and resource use dramatically. -- says that Andrew ecologists. More agricultural. He colleges. Have a consensus that you cannot. Produce enough -- organically that is absolutely not true I was just sitting meeting at the university California at Berkeley. A couple of weeks ago that it would -- -- attended by air ecologists and I can assure you that is not the consensus. Among among those scientists. How did how does that word because. A -- civil small form and the bottom three scorer. Crop cracked the word that I do grew. Corn -- traders viewed the basics. And I and I try to do it organically. By -- being certain bugs on certain plants and I kept losing them. He would -- about how we produce for ten billion people organic. Well first -- I think echo ecological methods include organic but they don't preclude the use of any. It pesticides fertilizers. It's. For example work at Ohio state university at -- scale over a long term with a hole. Team that economists are economists working with farmers. Agronomist and others have shown that using. Agro ecological methods. -- in that maintain or increase the higher productivity that Ohio that Iowa farms they have. At the same time reducing the need herbicides by ninety to 95% reducing the need of fertilizers for. By ninety to 95%. Other studies have shown that organic farming. When done right. Can't approach. Industrial farms for for productivity. But there aren't there are certainly challenges. There is more labor required for those methods. Of course we have a lot of unemployed people and so you know that the right kind of labor might not be a bad thing. But yet and you know we need more research commit to refine those methods most of our research infrastructure over the last. Decades has been devoted to. And improving and making more efficient industrial agriculture. Including genetic engineering and as a scientist. I have a lot of confidence that if we were investing two to 5%. Of our research dollars. On and it's sustainable agriculture debt could be made much more efficient to have a lot of confidence in our ability to do that. We also have the subsidy system that discourages that kind of agriculture we subsidize their hands full of large acreage commodity crops. And growing those crops over and over and over again in the same place it's just a recipe for past problems and the need for insecticides in fertilizers. So that -- there's no doubt that those methods it's that I mentioned. Crop rotation. He says. You know. Organically produced fertilizers from what news and maneuvers. A cover crops in those kind of things can be highly productive incredibly resilient and more resilient to climate changed. Because they improve the -- the soil capacity to hold water and for crops to survive. During drought they've reduced test numbers and so on. But web that we need to do it completely organically or. In some cases organic world works best or using every week logical method supplement. It was small amounts of fertilizers or pesticides. I think that would research devoted to improving crop. And making them more pest resistant which has also been something the -- has been able to do over the decades. I -- a lot of confidence we can solve these problems that we do need to invest we do need to provide incentives to do the right kind of agriculture has. Farmers will do the right thing if we give them incentives. To do it. Gaga got about a minute borders from one quotes and news of breed you're correctly in -- I think what I'm hearing is that shouldn't be so much you or GO moat good. But they're just not need it we're we're able to lead what would go and even of the goes up to ten billion. With a little bit change in search in the -- we've form and by hearing your world. No I think I. Think that's right we don't know for sure I mean nobody knows what the future holds for sure that that there's no evidence that it is genetic engineering to actually get in the way because it's very expensive. You only change once traded at tying and so it's not the most cost effective way of doing it's either. And we have seen one thing -- Specter completely ignores. The unsustainability. Of -- attention it's 6070 million acres of wheat resistant to herbicides. Because of genetic engineering and although. Inspectors has that happened before it's. There's no doubt the genetic engineering the use of it in the -- -- so that has exacerbated this problem greatly. And what Specter also fails to mention is that the industry insert. Is that next generation. Wrote. Engineered crops -- will be resistant to old herbicides like 240 that we know are. Problematic in terms of human health and the environment that is completely left that out so -- in the basic point is that it is. You know it's his article is very selective and very slanted and very disappointing for well journalist. Marco are really preacher calling in particular you have big lot of knowledge. About this issue can we get about it later date herb thank you so much truly enjoy -- -- separate. Personally have power is it brings up something. That -- -- -- -- regular -- on the show because it is that fascinates me and I'm. One of the lucky people the coach does signature and through job every day. In talk talk to experts on both saw conservative. Liberals. Environmental pollution on the environment analyst. Both sides of everything that's what would call that the intent. The problem I see is there's there's so much information. If you don't go into an issue with the pre determined. Idea of what right. It's very difficult to look at both sides and -- term. And I think it comes down to who do you trust. Our bread. And too liberal publications. That a New York or article called seeds of doubt. An adult. Is the argument against. Genetically modified crops. And -- if you pull the article up I mean it's long it's going to be twenty page users so. And he basically says is dead that India in particular. -- -- survive without some genetically modified seeds. And -- just. Noted scientists on director of sustainable. Agriculture. So -- for food safety in Washington DC. Saying it was disappointed. In the dis honest the of the report. Bob what he termed an amount -- whose whose exact term but I think -- have been noted a respected journalists. So it goes down to. Who do you trust. And when we talk I think we're nearing seven billion people on the planet know we have an already reached it. And by 25 if they're they're predicting we could be up -- ten billion. And we breed said number the question becomes can we -- gamble. And his articles there was no -- about GM ON -- Genetically modified seed crops. Well that scientists -- it absolutely would care and a large part of it can be done and organic. So we ever double a bureau pretty drug board opinion poll and we have. Would you eat genetically modified boot 57%. Abuse say absolutely not. And I think the bought off. Scientist. In a lab. With the liquid. -- bacteria. With the seeds. Whatever they do and it feels like it's part of official that feels like it's not part of nature. And I think that were a lot about this certainly. I would want -- and may be -- -- and just the sound of genetically modified. Makes me not one to either. But. That this report points out in his article. That corn that we have that today. Was brought about by cross breeding. -- it wasn't a cold bit and -- It wasn't something that was a row who was something belt was developed. And he points out that stars. In our hearts. I don't know of anybody says I'd rather not have that doll. Because it's part of a pick. And then number about prince have diabetes. While they have -- -- insolent. Developed. In the elect. Its. Human pro team. Inserted into common bacteria. And everything average has grown in these try and cultural backs. And we don't have a problem with that. And and then. The journalists -- broke your article it's it's. Genetically modified -- will not. Solve the problem. Hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry every night. We need them be better win big supply of vitamin for. It would help of their government. -- -- It would help would they literally have ropes. To get the cropped in the seed in. If they had a more equitable distribution. Of -- war. That are already becoming a problem here in the United States so my point use. My lack of points. I read this article. And it's doing very well we're searching trouble all over the world. Winter experts from both sides. And he printed the story that basically said. Those that are arguing against genetically modified crops -- brawl. And that we bring and produce noted sciences who says no he's wrong. We can lead to ten billion that we read support on this plan. Through Oregon organic crops and most doubles that think like in our. Governor of -- -- -- -- drug -- opinion poll. Don't want to even if it's labeled that way because that suggest. Something foreign something we don't understand something. Made up in -- way. -- we already do. So. I've got a Soviet stoned so I've come only grown twelve -- totally different -- a topic it's about. Population worldwide. But L it's also political analyst and I've talked to him about the problem so many drugs about who do you trust what you cross. And he's several people gonna have on that time. To read. And they get open their minds and we both side. In order to come to a decision. I would submit are probably read for more than most. Because it's is required in this kind of thing -- And and most important product I'm. Debates. I got -- -- eyes see. Validity. And almost every side and some of them certainly. Can form an opinion after reading both sides here in Bozeman with this one. That's a little bit too complicated for me what do you. Jews and 0187. And -- three and we're in the country 8668890. -- seven. Would you -- In the kind of food label. Genetically. Modified. Organisms. -- Falwell. We'll soon Mir a category of prudent grossly antsy to trust warriors. The following what is remembered the way for Europe so was 50000. Children had crossed the Mexican border. Coming from countries all of South America and here's the latest from Reuters. Number of Central American child migrants cross in the US border has fallen short -- combination of factors. Tighter border policing. Raged on what they called who abuse the the beast it's a network of cargo trains. Please. Troops. So are liberated these trends and a -- kids in the adults all of them could use that as one of the main transportation. -- They have set up many many more broad check ports and the hearted tale strobe of the deport tees. Who grow -- who -- drug gangs on the way in north. And there's and you responded advertising blitz on the dangers of the journey. And number of arrests several human smugglers -- the call and -- ovaries. And they advertise there arrest them their identities. And what seemed to have made -- biggest of points. The site of several plane loads of Central American migrants being deported including. Mothers and children. Have helped drive home pres Obama's message that the most of those in the country illegally. Will be rejected and is gone somewhere towards debunking. The coyotes spread minute coach who. Help close that they could -- and then -- open cross border. Coyotes for a minute of US embassy. So they're beginning to hear all that. And apparently we've got a big drop all been young people. -- across the border plus the Mexican president last month. Announced Blair and to make -- the country's southern border. -- Guatemala. More -- And these improved border crossing facilities. And regional corporation. On our border. Even. And there's been 86 million dollars equipment like speedboats. And warm up for super crew will be Mexico and southern border. And according to this and orders -- out of the -- and Central America. No longer believe rumors -- -- is meant amnesty. Tempers and -- percent drop in the number of migrants. Crossing into southern Mexico. That southern Mexico without papers and Chu -- Came down bro that and treat my actor producer. What are but the figure was 213%. Drop. Top Honduran officials. Says the government and discuss military aid with the United States. In exchange. For helping to halt -- migrants and their origin. At the Guatemalan border. Orbiter. Says anti drug smuggling task force. Which was led by the United States is helping to train them and equip them. And recently started going up -- the color coding networks but boy and done wrong. The transportation. Of these kids and -- Kremlin's. And the number of unaccompanied children caught longest -- -- Yours border. Which cut and happened July. From a month earlier. It was. Prepared 500 plus today to 177. Wednesday. Arizona Border Patrol -- Said the -- all the migration. Is because people realize and smugglers were spreading -- in provision. About how review -- stay in the United States. Unknown. And the river that marks frontier to Guatemala and Mexico and the number of kids crossing that river. -- don't shortly. Around 100 -- pursues its peak of 700. Yesterday so to follow up on these. As a settle after -- sold 50000 young people coming in illegally to this country. Looks like that's been -- weighed down. By a number of efforts that we've initiated. Question news. Do you. Governor bill argued celebrity Jim -- applied to read.