A story published online at The Atlantic.com about “The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods” has caused a minor sensation and perhaps also some unwarranted hysteria. Unfortunately, it seems that food writer Ari LeVaux got much of the science he was writing about wrong. Various writers with a better handle on the topic have registered their skepticism, including Cal alum and science writer,
Of course, the debate on GM foods is an important and ongoing one. Indeed, our ability to feed a world population headed for 9 billion or more by mid-century could very well hinge upon the success of lab-improved seed strains to increase yields of staple crops. Frank Browning, a frequent contributor and author of the book Apples: The Story of the Fruit of Temptation, interviewed various Berkeley scientists in making just such an argument. His story, “Dinner by Design,” ran in our “Food for Thought” issue from Winter 2009, as did another article about the challenges of feeding the world, called “The Locavore’s Dilemma” by environmental reporter Glen Martin.