Danish scientists now believe they are close to producing a natural alternative to genetically modified organisms or GMOs, which have been blamed for harming health and the environment.
The scientists are using a system called “bacterial transformation” to improve the quality of a potted plant. They have just started applying it to tomatoes and potatoes to determine whether it can boost food production.
Genetically modified products are often referred to as “Frankenstein crops” because of claims that they can contaminate other natural produce and create so-called “super weeds” that are impossible to eradicate.
These scientists are producing a bright little plant called kalanchoe. A natural bacterium found in soil is introduced to the seed to give it a more effective root system.
This development is of great interest to China which has to feed 20 percent of the world’s population on about 11 percent of the world’s arable land. Some scientists and government officials are pushing for the use of genetically modified technology to boost agricultural efficiency. However, there is strong opposition from millions who insist on completely natural products.
It is not yet certain whether bacterial transformation will provide the hoped-for advances to challenge GMOs, but the Danish scientists expect to have a clearer idea in three to five years.
CCTV America’s Malcolm Brabant reports.