Bill Gates’ Newest Favorite Technology? Genetically Modified Organisms

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates came to the defense of genetically modified organisms and the potential they hold to “feed the world” and help relieve global poverty issues in a recent annual letter released on his foundation’s website.

The founder of Microsoft and philanthropist who started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife likened the technology of patenting seeds as similar to the innovations Microsoft and others have made in technology, and suggested that the controversial GMO industry may hold the potential to solve world hunger issues. “When innovators work on urgent problems and deliver solutions to people in need, the results can be magical.”

Despite the growing body of research condemning the practice of planting genetically modified seeds for the numerous problems experienced by farmers including decreased crop yields, pesticide resistant weeds and bugs, and the health risks to humans including increased food sensitivities and allergies, organ damage and neurological disorders, Gates warns that “we won’t advance if we don’t continue to fund agricultural innovation,” citing the need to support “new seed varieties for rice, wheat, and maize (corn) that helped many farmers vastly improve their yields.”

Genetic modification of food is indeed a new technology, something Mr. Gates is no stranger to, but humans, farmland and ecosystems respond much differently to technology than a circuit board. Advocacy groups and non-GMO proponents like Pamm Larry, founder of the Label GMOs ballot initiative campaign in California, think it’s irresponsible and deceptive to allow the proliferation of GMOs. “We’re being fed foods saturated with herbicides or that had pesticides in every cell and not told about it,” stated Larry in a recent OrganicAuthorty interview.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger