Expert says controversy overshadows advantages of genetically-modified foods


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A plant breeder, Dr Robert Fraley, has said that scientific advantages of Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) were being overshadowed by controversy.
He stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) of Friday at the Award Ceremony for the 2013 Norman Borlaug World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
According to him, more than 1,000 scientific studies on the safety of GMOs have been conducted and several studies on the subject have been re-reviewed.
Fraley, who is also the Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto Corporation, a Missouri-based  agricultural biotechnology organisation, said “GMO foods are safe for consumption”.
He explained that GMOs was all about having fragments of natural genetic material added to crops to improve resistance to insects and viruses.
Fraley added that the technology had proven beneficial not only to plants but also human health.
“Yet, GMOs are still met with significant regulatory barriers, hindering further advancement of biotechnology. Are we going to limit the science with policy?”
He said that policymakers could not afford to delay the progress of biotechnology if the world was to feed the estimated 9.6 billion people that would inhabit the planet by 2050.
Fraley is one of the three recipients of the 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Award.
The other two repients are Ms Mary-Dell Chilton, the founder of Syngenta Biotechnology, U.S. and Dr Marc Van Montagu, the founder of Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach in Belgium.

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