The future of orange crops are at risk and pig genes may be considered part of the solution. (I’m not kidding)
On July 27, the New York Times (NYT) officially staked its flag into Big Ag’s garden and into the soil of the GMO camp with its wildly controversial piece, “A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA.”
The feature highlights the story of a highly influential orange grower and his undying quest to stave off Asian jumping lice and the bacteria that they carry, which has been devastating Florida’s orange crop since 2005.
Committed to engineering the world’s first genetically modified orange tree, the article centers on Ricke Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus who is in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Best. According to NYT, Kress’s GMO savior would fight C. liberibacter and citrus psyllids through whatever means science determines necessary. As for public acceptance, Kress told his industry colleagues, “We can’t think about that right now.”
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