Denmark: GMO Crops Can Help Climate And Environment, According to A New Report from the Danish Food Ministry
News Sep 18, 2009
The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has released a report on GMO’s showing that the production of genetically modified (GM) crops has the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2. The report also shows that GMOs are a promising way of producing plants that are more resistant towards changes in climate conditions.
Danish trials show that GM crops give farmers an opportunity to achieve the same harvest yield with reduced use of pesticides. That said, the report highlights that there is still a need for research into the possibilities and risks associated with GMOs, and the Food Ministry has therefore earmarked DKr 65 million for research into the use of biotechnology in farming and food.
“Today, eight percent of the world's agricultural land is used for growing GM crops, and GMOs have a positive potential that we must consider seriously,” says the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Mrs. Eva Kjer Hansen:
“It would be unwise of us not to choose genetic technologies simply because we do not have sufficient information – these technologies have the potential to contribute to meeting the challenges facing us in terms of the climate and the environment as well as in questions of sufficient food supply.”
The report collates the existing knowledge about GMOs and one of its purposes is to be a basis for the coming debate on the usefulness to society of growing GM crops in the future.
According to the report, the Danes are the people in the EU who feel best informed about GM foods; they are also among the consumers who associate the lowest risk with genetic technologies. However, the report further shows that Danish consumers have very poor faith in the public authorities' ability to ensure that GMOs organisms do not damage environment and human health.
“Twenty percent of Europeans believe wrongly that their own genes will be modified if they eat GM food,” says Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen. “It can be difficult to tell truth from fiction when you are talking about modern biotechnology, and that is why I wanted this report, which collates the present knowledge about the subject. There are many myths about GMOs and it is my hope that we will be able to wave goodbye to some of them with updated knowledge and debate.”
The report's conclusions will be presented at a conference on Friday 18 Sep tember, arranged by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in co-operation with the Confederation of Danish Industry. There will be a number of presentations based on the conclusions of the report. Read more about the report and register for the conference at
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.