Want to Save the Planet? Stop Dumping on Frankenfood

Genetically modified products fight pollution
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Jan 28, 2009 11:22 AM CST
Freshly picked hybrid yellow cherry tomatoes, named Summer Sun, in a greenhouse February 13, 2007 at Moshav Beit Hanan in central Israel.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – It's time for greenies to take another look at the frankenfoods they've been campaigning against. Consider the enviropig. It’s a pig with an extra gene that means less phosphorous in manure runoff, and it’s just one example of how genetic modification in agriculture can be good for the environment, writes James E. McWilliams in Slate. Another is the new grass that reduces the methane emissions from the cows that munch it.

“Given the potential of these products to reduce the environmental impact of farming, it's ironic that traditional advocates for sustainable agriculture have led a successful campaign to blacklist GMOs.” Yes, there are risks from modified foods, but blacklisters are ignoring chances to reduce pollution, writes McWilliams. We can make a fern-based dust that removes heavy metals from soil, and plants that soak up more nitrogen from fertilizer. Time to get on board.