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June 29th, 2018 / Science, US

Scientists are using technology to expand global food production and ease its environmental impact, but advances are being challenged by claims that lack scientific evidence and raise public distrust and concern, a leading agricultural scientist told an American Association for the Advancement of Science audience.

Alison Van Eenennaam traced the advent of campaigns against agricultural innovations related to areas from cattle and chicken production systems to plant biotechnology. The impact such efforts are having on agricultural advances was the focus of the ninth annual AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture on 5 June at the AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

By way of illustration, Van Eenennaam examined the controversy over the adoption of genetically modified crops, known as GM crops or GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and the emergence of a “parallel science” that has led to public opposition and misconceptions about the safety of GM plants. Read more