by Allen Leigh, Contributor
A new scientific report was recently released that gives hope for feeding the world. The report concerns microbiology and is titled, “How Microbes Can Help Feed the World.” Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are commonly used to control pest, but these chemicals get into our environment and cause damage to plants, animals, and humans. Scientists hope that microbes can reduce the need for chemical treatment of plants.
“Microbes are essential partners in all aspects of plant physiology, but human efforts to improve plant productivity have focused solely on the plant,” says Ian Sanders of the University of Lausanne, chair of the colloquium that produced the report. “Optimizing the microbial communities that live in, on and around plants, can substantially reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.”
I just hope that the microbes are natural and not the product of genetic engineering (GE). I quickly browsed the report and didn’t see any mention of GE to develop new strains of microbes. However, this is an endeavor that could adopt GE.