The GMO labeling debate continued: It’s about the ‘benchmark’

I was amazed by the response to my previous post – and I will try address some of the main points. I found three main themes repeating through the comments. First, it is clear that there are many people who are concerned about the side effects of GMOs and don’t trust biotech companies that produce… Continue reading The GMO labeling debate continued: It’s about the ‘benchmark’

Why labeling of GMOs is actually bad for people and the environment

On November 6th, California voters will be asked to vote on a proposition about labeling of genetically modified (GM) products. On the surface this seems quite reasonable: people should have information about what they consume. In my view, labeling requirements are appropriate when there is undisputed scientific evidence that a food component is damaging, which,… Continue reading Why labeling of GMOs is actually bad for people and the environment

Article in the Brazilian ‘Jornal da UNICAMP’

SCROLL DOWN FOR AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION   Bionegócio e bionergia: superando as fronteiras entre setores da economia JOSÉ MARIA F. J. DA SILVEIRA No último dia 15, o Instituto de Economia da Unicamp promoveu o seminário Bioenergia: “Alternativas e Avaliação de Impactos no Brasil e nos EUA”. O Seminário foi organizado para receber os professores… Continue reading Article in the Brazilian ‘Jornal da UNICAMP’

AgBiotech and Climate Change

http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2011/08/14/agbiotech-and-combating-climate-change/ There is a growing concern about climate change and much of the worry pertains to the implications of climate change for food and agriculture. There is emerging evidence that increased heat beyond a certain threshold is likely to reduce yields and that climate change will require adaptation and change in land use patterns across… Continue reading AgBiotech and Climate Change

EBI: Now more important than ever

In 2008, after a competitive bidding process, UC Berkeley, LBNL and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign started a ten-year research partnership with BP called the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI). The goal in creating the EBI was to establish a research program where modern tools of biology are applied to generate new and improved fuels. I contributed to… Continue reading EBI: Now more important than ever

Biotech and the “Greening” of Agriculture

During 2009 I was a member of a National Resource Council (NRC) committee assessing the impact of genetically engineered (GE) crops in US agriculture. When I joined the committee I thought that the main finding will be those of economists, like myself, who realize that GE crops did a lot of good by increasing yields… Continue reading Biotech and the “Greening” of Agriculture

Educating global leaders for sustainability at Berkeley

In the beginning of May 2010, the MacArthur Foundation announced that UC Berkeley will receive a grant to establish a Master’s in Development Practice (MDP), or as it was referred to, a Master’s in Sustainability Studies. This grant is both a wish come true and the beginning of a new challenge. I appreciate development. I… Continue reading Educating global leaders for sustainability at Berkeley

The New Nobels: Small Steps Toward Integrated Social Science

I got a kick out of learning that Eleanor Ostrom and Berkeley’s Oliver Williamson won the Nobel in Economics. I had a similar response when the Psychologist, Dan Kahneman, won the prize. These are important steps in the expansion of economics and establishing an integrated social science based on rigorous logical thinking and empiricism.  This… Continue reading The New Nobels: Small Steps Toward Integrated Social Science