Could governments mandate that we quit reproducing sexually for the sake of public health? It sounds outlandish, but there are prominent thinkers making that case. Their argument is superficially plausible but ultimately absurd, both for scientific and ethical reasons.
Three well-known anti-GMO groups have attacked the New York Times for publishing a generally excellent story about crop biotechnology. Natural News, for example, called the article "pure propaganda masquerading as journalism." Unsurprisingly, Natural News is wrong.
Countries that ban biotech crops aren't necessarily GMO-free. There's a prohibition-inspired lesson for regulators and activist groups in these nations if they're willing to listen.
For decades, using rational arguments, scientists failed to convince European politicians of the importance of biotechnology, including gene editing. The reason is that Europe is convinced it is on the side of great virtue.
Large pharmaceutical companies are multinational organizations with incentives to distribute their vaccines broadly.
As new breeding techniques create new ethical debates over food, we think the ethical toolbox needs updating. Talking about crossing species lines simply isn’t enough. If Darwin had known about gene editing, we think he would have agreed.
Innovation is built upon an ecosystem that takes decades to mature. Yet, China has already made substantial advances in computer science, chemistry, engineering, and robotics -- all of which pose a direct challenge to U.S. technological supremacy. However, the U.S. will remain dominant and largely unchallenged in biotech and medicine for the foreseeable future.
Biomedical scientists today stand in a position not dissimilar to that of our ancient ancestors. A thousand years from now, we will be viewed as naïve and of limited means. Yet, it's quite possible that historians of science will look back at the 20th and 21st centuries as periods in which great marvels were accomplished. If there's ever a list called The Seven Wonders of the Biotech World this is what should be on it.
The Trump Administration recently issued two executive orders relating to biomedical science. The first involved the regulation of biotechnology products; the second involved transparency in healthcare costs. We believe both are a step in the right direction.
The New York Times has done something that it very rarely does: It wrote an editorial in support of biotechnology. Unfortunately, the newspaper has a long history of spreading misinformation about GMOs and chemicals, which seriously undermines the important message in its pro-vaccine editorial.
Food labels serve one purpose, and one purpose only: To provide nutritional information to consumers. The process by which a food is produced is not relevant to its nutritional content or safety profile. Therefore, products made using animal cell culture techniques absolutely should not require special labeling.