Genetic Engineering may not solve Africa’s fall armyworm problems
November 17, 2017|Patti Mulligan
Fred Gould presented at the Entomology 2017 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO last week on the prospects of using GMO technology to help alleviate the issue of crop pests in Africa.
The fall armyworm which is a major pest of corn in the western hemisphere has become an invasive pest in Africa in the past few years. Some groups are calling for use of Bt corn as a solution.
In this video Dr. Gould describes why it would take great dedication and large resources in money and people to use this approach in an equitable and sustainable manner.
*Note: The opinions expressed in this presentation are those of Dr. Gould as an individual faculty member, and should not be taken as a reflection of the views of the whole of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center or NC State University.
Prospects for the use of transgenic maize in the management of fall armyworm in Africa
Abstract: The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is largely controlled in North and South America with transgenic maize varieties, but this pest is rapidly evolving resistance. How well this technology is transferable to the African context will be discussed. Maize farmers in Africa face many different contexts and constraints than the vast majority of maize farmers in North and South America. The past impacts of GE crops on resource-poor farmers and potential for the future will be explored. Also discussed will be some current cropping problems faced by these farmers for which GE varieties have been suggested as solutions but where a practical pathway toward implementation is not apparent.
Clemson University, Feb. 1, 2019 | Dr. Gould has served on National Research council committees, addressing regulation of genetic technologies in agriculture. Dr. Gould received the Alexander von Humbodlt Award for most significant agricultural research over a fiver-year period, the Sigma Xi George Bugliarello Prize for written communication of science, and the O. MAx Gardner Award in 2012 for being the UNC faculty member with the greatest contribution to human welfare. He was elected to the US. National Academy of Sciences in 2011 and serves on the National Research Council Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
In November of 2017, an interdisciplinary panel discussed the complexities of gene drive applications as part of the third Sackler Colloquium on “The Science of Science Communication.” This paper builds on the ideas and conversations from the session to provide a more nuanced discussion about the context surrounding responsible communication and decision-making for cases of post-normal science. Deciding to use gene drives to control and suppress pests will involve more than a technical assessment of the risks involved, and responsible decision-making regarding their use will require concerted efforts from multiple actors.