Cuban officials embrace GMOs to feed hungry population, but groups push back

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[Editor’s note: Rev. Ben Johnson is Senior Editor at the Acton Institute.]

Cuban officials have announced the island is turning to genetically modified organisms (GMO) to help feed its increasingly hungry population.

But Cuba’s use of GMOs, which it hopes to begin planting [April 2017], is threatening to start an intra-Left conundrum. Although the EU surveyed a decade of tests and found that “biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies,” many continue to deride so-called “Frankenfoods.”

Officials in Havana hope that GMO foods will boost Cuba’s corn production to 140 bushels per acre and the soybean yield above 40 bushels per acre. That sounds fairly uninspiring to farmers in the United States, where corn production averaged 175.3 bushels per acre last November, and soybeans yielded 52.5 bushels per acre. But Cuba produces just over 30 bushels an acre of corn, and its soy production has been described as “almost non-existent.”

The country’s socialist economy harms agriculture in numerous ways.

The island experimented with transgenic crops in 1996 and again in 2011, but both times the research was abandoned. Now, Western GMOs may deliver the revolutionary progress and improved living standards that socialism never could.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What may save Cuba from hunger? GMOs

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia