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Good evening, I am Stewart Brand from the Long Now Foundation [claps]. Tonight we are actually reaching a little further back, the reason the Long Now Foundation describes the long analysis in the last ten thousand years and in the next ten thousand years we are building a clock to sort of tell times in the next ten thousand years. The last ten thousand years refers to what happened ten millennia ago year ago when the most radical thing that humanity did for itself and to the planet was invent agriculture, it was a ferocious everything changing event. The change carrying capacity for humans that affected carrying capacity for all the other species that we have and that process has been revolutionary from decade to decade and century to century and millennium to one millennium up until this very day. One of the reasons I am particularly interested in this book that this couple has done Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak is that it is taking two current revolutions the organic one and the genetic engineering one, which are usually seen as being an opposition and slamming together, which is exactly the kind of thing that farmers and growers and marketers have been doing for ten thousand years, its figuring out new angles, farming is hard, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the hardest work there is, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a very chancy profession, most people donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really go into farming to make money, they go into farming to make food. These guys I think have an unusually realistic handle both on the present of how food crops work and especially on the future, please welcome Pam and Raoul. It sounds great. Thank you Stewart for that nice introduction and thank you Daniel and the rest of the Long Now Organizers for bringing us here and for putting on this fabulous seminar series and thank all of you for coming out on a Tuesday night. We donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t go out on Tuesday nights in Davis that just doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t happen. So you may think organic farmers and geneticist represent opposite ends of the agriculture spectrum, you may even think that we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t talk to each other but we do and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not that difficult, the reason is we both have the same goal which is an ecologically based farming system. Still many of our friends and family have asked us if genetically engineered crops are safe to eat and if they will harm our environment and many of our scientific colleagues have asked us if organic agriculture can produce enough food to feed other worlds growing population. So this book is our response to those questions and what we try to do in the book is give the reader a better understanding of what geneticist and organic farmers actually do day to day and also to distinguish between fact and fiction on the debate on crop genetic engineering. One of the other things that organic farmers and genetic engineers have in common is that they read the whole earth catalogue thirty years ago and came away with the idea that there was an appropriate technology for solving problems in the world and we still carry this idea as well as the book with us today and you know I have literally had this book, this catalogue since it came out and I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t realize that I was holding on to it so I could get the editor to autograph it tonight. Okay, so that the place that Pam and I start off with is a look at the problems of conventional agriculture and when you look at what kind of agriculture we have now its obvious that there are a lot of pesticides used, there are synthetic fertilizers used and there are farming practices that result in a lot of soil erosion both in the US and around the world. California is a somewhat unique state because it keeps track of pesticide use and you can see from this graph that pesticide use in California has a changed to great deal in the last ten years despite the fact that there have been a lot of efforts to reduce pesticide use and there have been a few changes there are some less toxic pesticides being used and some more toxic ones have been banned but this also considerably less farm land in California and there was ten years ago but still pesticide use continues and the environmental problem with pesticides is that not only do they kill pest but they kill beneficial insects, they kill birds, they kill worms, they kill beneficial microbs that are on leaf surfaces and in the soil and in California of course we have a rigorous pesticides safety system and pesticide applicators were trained on how to use and apply materials safely although nevertheless each year there are a thousand or so pesticide related poisonings in California, but in the rest of the world there arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t these safety programs, here is a Peruvian potato farmer without gloves, without a respirator, he is applying pesticides, its clear that in the rest of the world there are an estimated three million cases of sever pesticide poisoning that result in three thousand deaths that outside of California its even a bigger problem. The other aspect of conventional agriculture is that it depends very heavily on synthetic fertilizers and synthetic fertilizers have two main problems, one synthetic nitrogen is made from natural gas and its very energy intensive, it takes the equivalent of thirty gallons, the energy equivalent of thirty gallons of gasoline to make the amount of nitrogen it takes to plant a field of corn in the Mid West, if you look at that globally one percent of energy in the world is used to make synthetic nitrogen and as far as the plants grow, the plants like synthetic nitrogen because its readily available to be taken up by the plant to be used to grow but the downside is because its so soluble it leaches out of the field and to give you a sense of how much leaches out the nitrogen use efficiency for plants is about fifty percent so fifty percent is taken up by the plant and fifty percent goes into groundwater, surface water or into the air. When it goes into surface water it causes algae to bloom and when the algae die bacteria break it down and when the bacteria do do this they take all the oxygen out of the water so here is a slide of the Gulf of Mexico think thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an oil platform in the background. This is a slide of the Gulf of Mexico where on one side you have basically a dead zone that lack oxygen, nothing can live there and on the other side you have the living Gulf of Mexico. The site at the Gulf of Mexico is often sixty five hundred square miles that forms each year from the agricultural runoff from you know Iowa and Kansas and Ohio and all those Mid Western states, but its only one of two hundred and fifty of these sites that are in the US, you know the Chesapeake Bay has problems and other waterways around the country. This is a satellite photo of that dead zone that forms and you can see the extent of it as it comes out of the mount of the Mississippi. And if you think that world fertilizer use is going down actually its still growing up and this little blip at the top of Russia that was the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia is now using as much fertilizer as they were and you can see that its not only a problem in the US, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a problem worldwide Asia is using a tremendous amount of synthetic fertilizers as well as the US and Russia and Europe. The third tremendous problem that agriculture faces is soil erosion, this is a map of the globe that shows soil erosion from around the world and the dark orange spots are the very degraded soil areas because of soil erosion thirty percent of the worlds arable land has become unproductive and when soil erodes you know it just ends up in rivers and streams and lakes and all the nutrients and all the pesticides in the soil also end up in rivers and streams and lakes and if you like a close up look of what ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of soil erosion this is farmland in Iowa and the conventional farming practices is to leave the ground bare until the crop is planted so you get a lot of rain when the ground is bare and it just runs off. Its estimated that as a result of erosion global crop land shrinks by more than ten million hectors each year and I have seen other estimates that are as high as twenty million hectors each year so itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a ongoing and continuing problem, the recent estimate on soil erosion in the US is that one point eight billion tons of soil are lost from US soils each year, the number in China is four point five billion tons, so the situation is actually worse in other parts of the world than it is here. So what's the future of agriculture if we continue with these farming practices, what are our children going to inherit from us, what sort of situation are they going to face in the next fifty to eighty years. Well, if we continue farming the way we are now there is going to be more polluted environments, there is going to be a less wild lands because we are going to need more croplands to produce more food and there is going to be global conflict because if people arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t fed then itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s when ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ most common causes for unrest in the world. So starting from this point of these very serious problems, Pam and I developed some criteria for a more sustainable agriculture and obviously we want to provide abundant safe and nutritious food because thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what the world needs. Clearly we want to reduce harmful environmental inputs, pesticides and fertilizers, we want to reduce energy use in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture because the global warming and the agricultural problems are just as great as the global warming problem and they are also tied together. We want a system that reduces soil erosion but also fast to a soil fertility, the US right now is eroding soil ten times faster then its being produced or made and in China they are eroding soil forty times faster then its being produced so we need to reduce that trend, its very important to enhance crop genetic diversity, one of the greatest losses of crop was in 1972 The Southern Corn Leaf Blight where seven hundred and ten million bushels of corn was lost to a disease because the genetic diversity of the corn crop was so narrow that the disease caused tremendous problem. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s also critical to maintain the economic viability of farmers in real community because without farmers there is just not going to be enough food. We want to protect by our diversity to provide the habitat for beneficial insects and birds and we want to improve the lives of the poor and malnourished around the world one because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s our responsibility to do so and two because it will help reduce global conflicts. So organic agriculture started out as a response to these sorts of problems and until the year 2000 organic agriculture was defined by a number of certifiers in the US forty four or so and then in the year 2000 the USDA came up with National Organic Standards that defined how organic agriculture was to be implemented in this country and I will tell you right now just to get ahead of things that genetic engineering of plants was prohibited by the National Organic Standards. So this is my farm at UC Davis and its an organic farm and organic farming is really based on the idea of health, health of the crop, health of the plants, health of the soil, health of the farmer, health of the consumer and its ecologically based farming system. One of the reasons that organic agriculture reduces pesticide use is because it uses completely different strategies, it instead of using toxic materials to control pests, organic farmers use crop rotation, they enhance beneficial insects, they use resistant varieties and they use some naturally occurring pesticides but overall organic agriculture uses ninety percent fewer pesticides than conventional systems so in this slide you can see that we have a lot of crop diversity in a small space and that helps to minimize the impact of pests. The other aspect of organic agriculture thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important is that we have another way of fertilizing aside from soluble fertilizers, this is a slide of our compost turner, turning the compost pile at the farm and while presently compost is a defined by the USDA Organic Standards as being a material that is turned five times in fifteen days and reaches temperatures between a hundred and thirty and a hundred and seventy. The point of that is mostly to manage human pathogens but composed on the farm is intended to provide nutrients like NPK and a lot of micronutrients but also to provide organic matter for the soil that helps reduce erosion and provides a microorganism community that helps to suppress diseases in other pests. The other way that organic farmers provide in this particularly nitrogen for the crops is to the use of cover crops this is our, this is a field where we planted vetch and bell beans last fall and this crop grew and through the use of legumes which have a symbiotic relationship with a Rhizobium bacteria thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s able to fix nitrogen out of the air and bring it in to the plant, when we turn this crop in it fixes the equivalent of a hundred and fifty pounds of nitrogen per acre. Now that the two edge sword about organic fertilizer is one hand is organic nitrogen sources cover crops and composed are much less soluble than synthetic nitrogen, in fact although that cover crop fixed a hundred and fifty pounds per acre only about twenty percent of that is available in the first year because the nitrogen needs to be broken down the organic nitrogen needs to be broken down by microbes in order to be made available for plants and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the same for the composed so itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a two edge sword, its not a soluble but there is also less nitrogen thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s immediately available to the plant. So you might ask if organic agriculture has solved all those problems, solved the problems of erosion and nitrogen use and pesticide use is it enough you know is that, has that solved the problem enough that we can look to the future and say well we just want to use organic agriculture. Well there are a few issues that make that more challenging one is that there are some pests, diseases and stresses that are difficult to address using organic methods, there are viruses that are very hard to control, we have this little pest on the farm called symphylans which like high organic matter environments and they eat the roots of most crops and there really isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t a control these days, an organic control for symphylans. There are also environmental stresses like droughts and flooding and salty soils and cold that limit yield and suppress the yield throughout the world in different environments. The other challenge is that today about three point five percent of US agriculture is organic that leaves ninety six point five percent that needs to be changed and based on the rate of change in the last twenty years its going to be ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ it would be a while before everyone transition to organic and it would ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I am not sure its going happen soon enough. The other problem is that if you look at yield of organic farms there have been numerous studies comparing organic and conventional and its actually a challenging thing to do but if you look at these studies the yield of organic crops ranges from forty five percent to ninety seven percent or even more of conventional systems and as an organic farmer and farm inspector I have seen a lot of crop fields, organic crop fields and you know most of the time I think that the yields are very comparable, there are some very good organic farmers and they do a very good job but there are two well I have also seen some crops like organic rice where due to the weed problems the yields are regularly fifty to eighty percent of conventional rice and you know thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a serious crop loss there. The other issue if trends continue like they are now is that organic food is significantly more expensive then conventional food and it may cause a lot of problems for low income consumers both here and throughout the world if prices remain that high. But even if we could fine tuned organic agriculture so it could have the same yield as conventional agriculture, there is still a big problem and that problem is its that the population on earth is still going up, its estimated by 2050 that there is going to be almost three billion more people on earth so we need to have an agriculture system that essentially on the same amount of land or even less land if it continues to be degraded, we have to produce much more food and its true that if we became, all became vegetarians that a lot of the corn and soybeans that are grown in the US could be used for other purposes but its, this is concerting I guess to me that if you look around the world and you look at India and China for example as they become more affluent they want to eat more meat and it seems like the demands on the food supply are going to be increasing greatly in the next fifty years. But even today in 2008 they were food riots this year in Haiti, there were food riots in Bangladesh and the UN you know views potential food crisis as something thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going to threaten the security of the world. So is there more land that could be farmed, this is a hillside in Ecuador thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s being farmed and as a central valley California farmer I would have said that wow thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not land that you could farm but there you go people are farming it and if we ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ without additional yield increases maintaining just what we eat now would necessitate a doubling of the worlds crop area by 2050 that land doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t exist. We need to increase our yields on our existing crop land. One of the other ingredients of agriculture of course is water and we havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t been using water in a very sustainable way. This is a graph that shows the freshwater availability per head of world population and you can see that since 1950 [off the mike comments], since 1950 the availability of water per head has decreased four fold so there is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and as the population continues to increase there is less and less water available, in the US and around the world there have been underground aquifers you can call it fossil water that have been tapped into for the past fifty or so years and that water isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t replaced and so the most famous one here in the US is the Ogallala Aquifer and the water level there has just been dropping and dropping and dropping at some point its just not going to be available to be used. But if you look at how water is used in the world sixty seven percent of it is used in agriculture and so there is not much more water that we are going to be able to access to farm more land, we have to live with what we have and its possible that with global warming that water is a declining resource and even though the demand for it is going to be increasing. So given the immensity of the challenge to providing food for an increasing number of people well maintaining the integrity of the environment we need to consider the most appropriate modern technology thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s available in order to solve some of these problems and Pam is going to talk about modern genetic approaches that meet our criteria for a more sustainable agriculture. Thank you, thanks Raoul, so I think I will start on a point that Stewart began which is looking at the radical changes to our agricultural system overtime beginning ten thousand years ago so the origin of modern wheat, modern rice and modern corn began at estimated about four thousand to twelve thousand BC and the progenitors of these modern varieties are in Turkey, China and Mexico. For about another eleven thousand years, twelve thousand years not a lot happened until Gregor Mendel came along and he figured out what our ancestors were actually looking for so the important point here is that the seed contains all the traits that the farmer need such as yield, drought tolerance, pest resistance, disease resistance but until Gregor Mendel discovered the principles of genetics it was unknown how to take advantage of scientific information to do directive breeding, since that time there has been many scientific advances so for example in 1900 hybrid maze production began and with vast increases in yields of maze there have been other types of modern methods such as extra mutation breeding which introduces random mutations into the genome which is the collection of genes which is lead to some valuable crops such as grape fruit was induced by extra mutation geneses and most of these or I would tell all these advances have been accepted by the population, however in 1993 the first genetically engineered crop was improved for commercial release and there has been a lot of discussion since then. Some people think that genetic engineering is just the natural next step in human domestication of crop plants, others believe that itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s completely unnatural. So I want to just go back to give you an idea of the kinds of breeding that have occurred so the native Americans say thousand years ago began with this wide progenitor modern maze shown on top called teosinte. So teosinte produces about ten to twenty seeds per plant, you have to break open the seeds to get at the nutrition inside with a hammer and the native Americans began the first breeding experiments and that has evolved to today to this modern hybrid corn production which estimates to produce about a hundred fold more seed per each plant so that means that we can use a hundred time less land, a hundred times less water to grow the same amount of food. Here is another example these are all vegetables they are actually the same species so it just shows you the dramatic genetic variation that conventional breeders have been able to achieve and as you may know nothing that you eat everyday is found in nature so everything we eat has been derived from modern genetic improvements so none of these things are found in nature. So I want to just give a brief definition of genetic engineering and precision breeding they and how they are different from conventional breeding so genetic engineering and precision breeding differ in the way that only one to few well characterized genes are introduced at a time so through conventional breeding large sets of uncharacterized genes are mixed together through pollination and the breeder selects those variants that behave well in his or her hands. The other major difference and this is I think more where much of the concern is that with genetic engineering genes from any species can be introduced so you can put a bacteria gene into a plant species. Precision breeding has a similar results as genetic engineering we can introduce essentially a single gene into a plant however that process uses pollination and this just shows you graphically the way scientist think about it so the yellow is one plant variety and the red is another plant variety and the colors represent all the genes in the genome and pollination is across and on the right is the checkered offspring so you could see you have large sets of genes that are mixed together in the offspring so the breeder will further carry out further selections to refine this approach. Genetic engineering precision breeding takes variety of interest usually or locally adapted variety favored by farmers and introduces a one to two a few genes. So those essentially are the differences and I want to address the very first criteria that was high or less are genetically engineered crops safe to eat and safe for the environment. So here the science is in so there has been over a billon acres of genetically engineered crops planted, we know that at least for the crops that have been commercialized, I am not talking about everything in the pipeline but those that are commercialized, those that you are eating today in about sixty percent of process foods contain some genetically engineered ingredients, you are safe, you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t need to worry, there has not been a single case of adverse health or environmental impacts from any genetically engineered crops that have been grown over the last ten or fifteen years over greater than a billion acres. There have been numerous scientific societies that have looked at this not only in the United States the national academy of science but the royal society in the United Kingdom, the prestigious societies in India and Mexico and China and Brazil and they virtually all come to the same conclusion that the crops on the market now are safe to eat and that genetic engineering presents similar risk as conventional approaches of breeding, anytime you develop a new variety you are gong to have some low level risks and there are some examples so for example there is a celery variety that was developed through conventional breeding, the farmers loved it because it was highly resistant to an insect pest and the consumers loved it because they can buy a cheaper taste exactly the same however, there were a few farmer workers that developed some rashes when they were picking the celery, so there always will be some low level of consequences but the point here is that its similar whether you use the process of genetic engineering to introduce the genes or if you introduce genes through conventional approaches. Still itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important to remember that every new variety has to be considered on a case by case basis and we need to use the most appropriate technology sometimes the genetically engineered crop will be the most appropriate approach for a particular problem, sometimes not. So now I want to give you three examples to give you an idea why scientist are so excited about this technique, so this is the cotton bollworm he is emerging from his egg case and this little, cute little insect here is a big problem, it attacks cotton allover the world and twenty five percent of all the insecticides used in the world are used to control this pest. In the United States we use about fifteen insecticides to control this pest, half of those are known or possible carcinogens so this was a good target for genetic engineering. Now there was, there has been a variety of that as to resistant for this pest and it was developed through genetic engineering by introducing a protein called BT that was a favorite of organic farmers so organic farmers love this protein because it is not toxic to humans, its not toxic to other animals either and its actually very specific for this class of insects. So this has been a, this is one of the first genetically engineering crops thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been introduced and its probably the most wide spread and there was also the most study on this so we know that in Arizona farmers were able to achieve the same yield as same cotton yield as their neighbors who are conventional farmers however they used half the amount of insecticides and in their fields they have dramatically enhanced by diversity and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s easy to understand because they are not spraying as many insecticides so you can have more diversity of ants and beetles which were species of these who accounted in this particular study. In India an eighty percent increase in yield was observed in farmers fields and in China within the first year or so insecticides used fell by a hundred and fifty six million pounds per year so to give you an idea of how much insecticide is not being sprayed into an environment thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s almost equivalent to all the pesticides that we spray in California every year and researchers have found that insecticide related illnesses have dropped by seventy five percent on these farms using genetically engineered cotton. So again you think well problem is solved but we can't simply rely on seed as Raoul I hope made clear to you farming practices are very important and we know that in some instances such as in China after seven years of growing genetically engineered cotton other types of pest that appeared and this also is predictable because the farmers could spray and insecticide so they are getting other pests so there needs to develop other types of methods, organic methods such as fair amount of control of these other insects and really we need to integrate a pest management approach to take advantage of these new seeds that are being developed. The second story I wanted to tell you about is papaya so plants like humans get sick, they get diseases, they get viral diseases and this is a picture of papaya and you can see on the top this sort of little spots and this is a papaya infected with papaya ring spot virus which is a devastating disease and most of the or virtually all the papaya that we get in California comes from Hawaii. In the 1950ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the entire crop of papaya in Ohio was destroyed by papaya ring spot virus, the farmers who are mostly quite poor farmers, many from the Philippians there was no way to come back this disease so they moved to another island, the entire production was moved to the island of Hawaii, however, in 1992 the virus was discovered in Hawaii, by 1995 the production plummeted and we were looking at the end of cheap papaya in California and lack of income for these papaya growers. But there is a hear to this story this is Dennis Gonzalez who is a local Hawaiian who was trained at Cornell he was aware of this problem and it had been predicted for many years by plant pathologist that eventually this virus was going to move so you are familiar with the Swine Flu pandemic these things get around so in the early days of genetic engineering he took a snippet of a mild strain of the virus and inserted it by genetic engineering into papaya so this is similar to human immunizations or vaccinations against polio or small pox where we are immunized with a little bit of the virus, this was a dramatically effective approach, this shows you a filed trial in 1995 in the center of the genetically engineered papaya and on the outside are the identical papaya except lacking the snippet of viral nucleic acids. So this just shows you the first arrow shows the introduction of the papaya ring spot virus you can see this dramatic reduction in yield of papaya, in 1998 when the genetically engineered papaya was released to farmers it was a huge increase in production and this just shows two graphs which is one area in Hawaii, Puna and a larger area so I think this is important because this is a example where genetic engineering was the appropriate technology to address a very serious problem there was not an organic approach to solve this problem nor was there a conventional approach there is nothing you can spray to control this virus and so now about ninety percent of the papaya is transgenic so if you get papaya for breakfast its likely transgenic papaya from Hawaii. So now my third example is rice, so rice is a staple crop for the half the worlds people about twenty percent of our caloric intake is derived from rice and rice grows in virtually every continent except Antarctica and this shows a typical meal in Mali people cooking the rice, many people get, eat rice three times a day so any improvements we can make in rice, rice yields we have a dramatic impact throughout the world so most rice farmers have very small farms and they have very little technologies so this is a field of outside of Alexandria Egypt and here is a field in Indonesia. Twenty five percent of the worlds rice is grown in flood prone areas and here I have circled some areas that are hardest hit and Bangladesh, Eastern India, Burma, Thailand, there are some parts of Nepal, the water rushes down from the Himalayas and you can get flash floods that are entirely unpredictable and if they completely cover the rice the rice will die in three days sol rice likes water but it doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t like to be completely submerged because the water cuts off the oxygen, the gas exchange and the sunlight. So this is a major problem especially because in this area there is two points, two billion rice consumers and seventy five million of those consumers live on less than a dollar a day, so in India and Bangladesh alone farm only intensive rice enough to feed thirty million people is lost every year through floods. So my colleague David Mackill at the International Rice Research Institute knew every wheat or rice variety that had been discovered fifty years ago in Eastern India that was highly tolerant to submergence and breeders had been very interested in this variety but they failed to and they tried conventional breeding to introduce this trait and to locally adapted varieties but the farmers rejected all the varieties that they received and it was difficult to do the breeding because that was considered to be a complex. Trait and the varieties that were developed just did not satisfy the local taste and yield requirements. So Dave came to my lab about fifteen, almost fifteen years ago and we had just isolated a disease resistant gene from rice and he asked if we would try to isolate this gene including this submergence tolerant strait that we call sub one and his plan was to use that genetic information to introduce this gene into locally adapted varieties so we were able to isolate the gene a couple of years ago and using that genetic information we generated in the lab Dave MackillÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s team at the International Rice Research Institute developed some submergence tolerance varieties so this is a time lapse sequence that I am going to show you that was taken at the International Rice Research Institute so its four months condensed into forty seconds, so here you can see on the left is a sub one variety so its been planted and you can see both varieties are quite well but then in day twenty five this terrible flood comes and you can see after the flood only the sub one variety is thriving, the conventional variety on the right are as sixty four is having a much harder time at recovering from this stress, this is a typical environmental stress in this case its flooding so we ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ this is a field trial and so field trial is something thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s carried out in controlled conditions, in this case it was in the Philippines in a controlled field station but DaveÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s group has great collaborations in Bangladesh and India and he was able to bring the seed into farmers hands in those countries and looked at how the seed actually performed at farmers hands over three years and they found that the farmers found three to five fold increases in yield and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s because in every one of those years there was terrible floods its expected that flooding is going to be increased due to global climate change. So I was fortunate last November to visit India and Bangladesh with the team of scientists that were involved in this project and we interviewed some of the farmers to see what they had to say. So they speak a dialect called Orissa in this part of India and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ sorry that was Bangladesh but they speak the same dialect in India in this eastern part of India and so we also had this great conversation in India in a tent so the farmers were asking the scientist questions, the scientist were asking them questions we had a lot of questions for them too. So this tells us that the discoveries in the laboratory here in the greater bay area can be useful to farmers clear across the other side of the world and I want to just close to bring you up to date to where we are now so this is a Arabidopsis, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a very famous plant in scientific circles, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a little weed in the mustard family, as same as all those other vegetables that I showed you and it was the first crop genome to be sequent so that means that all the genes in this organism were decoded and there had been dramatic advancements in plant genetics even since 2000 when this first plant genome sequence was decoded, so for example in 2000 when we first got the Arabidopsis genome sequence it was estimated to take seven years, seventy million dollars and five hundred people to do this. Well now it estimated by 2010 the same exact project will take two to three minutes and seventy dollars, this is a huge advancement. Since that time we have also had the sequence of the rice genome and that greatly facilitated our work in developing submergence tolerance rice and we now have dozens of plant genome sequencing projects that are ongoing, so what are we going to do with this knowledge well it seems to me nearly inevitable that genetic engineering will play an increasingly important role in agriculture. The question really is not whether or not we should genetic engineering but more presently how we should use it to what responsible purpose. Agriculture needs are collective help in all appropriate tools if we are to feed the growing population in an ecological manner and here the consumers have a significant opportunity to influence what kinds of plants that are developed and to address the key agricultural challenges. So we need to direct our attention to where it matters and we need to support the use of seed and farming methods that are good for the environment and good for the consumers. So I want to give you an example where we can move forward with this new knowledge so this when I talked about rice, wheat and maze which are the major staples of the human population but the fourth one which you may not realize, the fourth staple crop is banana. In Eastern Africa a hundred million people rely on banana as a staple food source. However, now there is a pandemic attack in bananas called banana wilt it attacks all varieties of banana and its causing complete crop loss, every year itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s advancing. Conventional breeding is not an option because bananas are generated through tissue culture not through conventional pollination so this is an example where we hope that modern genetic knowledge can be used to develop resistant variety so one idea is to introduce a rice gene into banana and see if that will develop resistance to this very serious disease. So I just want to close by saying putting genetic engineering and organic farming against each other only prevents the transformative changes needed on our farms. There really seems to be a communication gap between organic and conventional farmers and between consumers and scientists, although with Obama in charge we are back to putting science at the place it needs on the table. The stakes are high in closing that gap without good science and good farming we cannot even begin to dream about establishing an ecologically balanced biologically based system of farming and ensuring food security. So I am just going to leave you with a quote from Rachel Carson one of the most important environmental activists of our time who I think could be speaking about the genetic approaches that we are using today, thank you.