That really sucked.
You know what else sucks?
Alarmingly, studies show that more than 153 million acres of irrigated land have become unfarmable due to salinity.
For reference, that is an area the size of France.
Another huge problem facing farmers -- especially across Asia -- is sea level rise. A fast-approaching agricultural crisis is upon us.
So, once again, it looks like science to the rescue!
We already know that there are plants, like seaweed and mangrove trees, with extreme salt tolerance. Geneticists have unlocked the secret to this tolerance, and research indicates that grains could be engineered to withstand salty soil.
The foundation has already developed genetically modified rice using genes from mangrove trees. The resulting plant can tolerate salt concentrations of 12-15 grams per liter.
Which means we are on our way to cultivating land that was previously unsuitable for farming.
There is scientific consensus about the safety of most GMOs – though, obviously, scientists and (wise) regulatory bodies evaluate each genetically modified organism individually. Saying “all GMOs are safe” is kind of like saying “all chemicals are safe.” Some chemicals will save our lives, and some will kill us.
That is why all GM products are tested by companies, universities, research institutions and government bodies before being approved for human consumption.
And, trust me – there is no “conspiracy.” I mean, unless everyone I know, including the man I dated for almost five years, is in on come big con and I am not. Which is just crazy talk. (See also: You Say "Arrogant," I Say "Right" - The Trouble With Debating the Masses.)
Want to know more? Check out:
- Genetically Modified Potatoes Carry 70% Fewer Cancer-Causing Compounds (And Produce 30% Less Waste) Than "Organic" Ones
- Scientists Have Invented a Way to END Malaria, Zika, and Other Mosquito-Spread Illnesses. But Will White Privilege Stop Them?
- Why We Love Foods That Are Gross - The Surprising Science of Acquired Taste
- The Surprising Trait Carbs and Valium Have in Common