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Boston Globe: Need for High-Tech Food and Policies to Match Undeniable

November 29, 2018
Last June, BIO hosted its 2018 International Convention in Boston. The week-long conference featured countless discussions related to biotechnology in health, industrial processes and, of course, food and agriculture.

During the day-long food and agriculture programming, titled Food, Health and Environmental Future Day, several industry experts, including government officials, company spokespeople, researchers, farmers and even movie producers, harped on the urgency to advance food-tech, such as GMOs and gene editing, to help meet some of the challenges facing our global food supply and agriculture communities across the globe.

This urgency is shared by the editors of the Boston Globe, who published an editorial titled “3 policies for the future,” which argues that in addition to the need for high-tech foods, the U.S. needs policies to allow these food innovations to thrive and help the most people.
“With a warming planet, the need for high-tech food and high-tech food policies is undeniable. Both are going to play an increasingly vital role in the planet’s future — and the way we eat.”

With regards to biotechnology, the Globe’s editorial board does not fall victim to fearmongering, instead highlighting the need for GMOs and the urgent need for more wide-spread acceptance of what will be a crucial food technology in a world that is growing increasingly warmer.
“Learn to love GMOs, and resist efforts to demonize or prohibit them. Genetically modified food sets off alarm bells for purists, but crops designed to last longer or resist disease are increasingly necessary.”

The editors go on to note the importance of the impending USDA Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard - set to be finalized in early December – and how it will prevent a patchwork system of state labeling laws while providing more uniform transparency as to what is in our food.
“What consumers are likely to notice is that GMO labeling will become “BE food,” or “bioengineered food.” And since at least two-thirds of all foods sold in the US contain some ingredients in that category — consumers are indeed likely to see it everywhere.

“What it will accomplish is to prevent every state and locality from drafting its own labeling laws and, in the process, making the free movement of good products from state to state difficult if not impossible. And it will let innovation continue unhindered.

The editorial is part of the newspaper’s “The Next Bite” series, examining the future of food from how it is grown, to the way we eat. In the series, the Globe dives into other ways food technology, especially biotechnology, can change our food for the better, including hypoallergenic peanuts and better tasting bread.

Check out the entire “The Next Bite” series here.