Could genetic modification be the only way to save our food during the drought-full future? The Scientific American reports:
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Climate change has yet to diminish crop yields in the U.S. corn belt but scientists expect drought to become more common due to global warming in coming years. That could impact everything from the price of food to the price of fuel planet-wide. As a result, for the last several years agribusiness giants like Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta have been pursuing genetic modification to enable the corn plant to thrive even without enough rain. And now the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering approving a new corn hybrid genetically engineered to thrive on less water—the first time such a corn strain would be available.
“Working on something like drought is more complex than introducing a trait like insect resistance,” says plant breeder Bob Reiter, vice president of biotechnology at Monsanto, the company seeking approval for the new strain.