诺贝尔科学家:转基因食物挽救生命

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康拜因在收割大豆,这是最常运用现代生物技术改良的作物。(© AP Images)

100多位诺贝尔奖(Nobel Prize)得主在一封公开信(英文)中,呼吁各国政府批准使用转基因生物(GMO),呼吁反对人士不要再阻止生物技术革新。截至6月30日,共有109人签署公开信,占在世的诺贝奖得奖人数的三分之一。

他们在信中肯定地表示,改良基因食品可以安全食用,并且可以挽救数百万人的生。信中说:“世界还需要有多少穷人死去才能让我们思考这种‘对人类的犯罪’? ”

诺贝尔奖得主目前正在发起运动,支持现代植物育种手段。

这些科学家说:“世界各地的科学和管理机构反复和一致得出结论,生物技术改良作物和食品与用其他方法生产的作物和食品一样安全,如果不说它们更安全的话。”


最近一份国家科学院的报告(National Academy of Sciences report)的结论说,这些作物从未显示造成人体疾病或环境危害。世界有八分之一的农田使用转基因种子种植大豆、棉花、玉米和其他作物。

诺贝尔奖得主在信中指责反对人士阻止向菲律宾和其他地方引入维生素A含量更高的“黄金”稻,而这对东南亚和非洲贫困人口的伤害最严重。

据世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)估计,全球有2.5亿人患维生素A缺乏症,婴儿和儿童最容易因此而死亡或失明。联合国儿童基金会(UNICEF)的数字显示,如果贫困家庭的饮食中能够含更多维生素A,每年有可能防止100万到200万人死亡。

加州大学伯克利分校(University of California at Berkeley)细胞生物学家、2013年诺贝尔医学奖得主兰迪·谢克曼(Randy Schekman)对《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)表示,在农业生物技术领域“那些在全球气候变化问题上非常支持科学根据的团体……对科学家的普遍观点却如此不以为然令我吃惊”。

农民使用的几乎所有种子都经过传统育种方式的改良,以便使作物产量更高,更具有抗虫能力。诺贝尔奖得主们表示,农民现在应该可以自由运用“所有现代生物手段,尤其是经过生活技术改良的种子”。

Nobel scientists: Genetically modified foods save lives

Combines harvesting soybeans, one of the crops most often modified through modern biotechnology (© AP Images)

An open letter signed by more than 100 Nobel Prize winners — that’s one-third of living science laureates — calls on governments around the world to approve genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and exhorts environmental opponents to stop fighting biotechnological innovations.

“How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a ‘crime against humanity’?” they write as they affirm that genetically modified crops are safe to eat and have the potential to save millions of lives.

The laureates are launching a campaign to support the modern plant-breeding techniques.

“Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than, those derived from any other method of production,” the scientists write.


A recent National Academy of Sciences report concluded these crops have never been shown to cause human illness or environmental harm. Engineered seeds are used on one-eighth of the world’s farmland to grow soybeans, cotton, maize and other crops.

The laureates accuse opponents of fighting to stop the introduction of vitamin A–enriched “golden” rice in the Philippines and elsewhere. That hurts poor people in Southeast Asia and Africa the most.

The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people suffer from vitamin A deficiency, with babies and children at most risk of death or blindness. According to UNICEF, 1 million to 2 million deaths each year could be prevented if poor families added more vitamin A to their diets.

Randy Schekman, a University of California at Berkeley cell biologist who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine, told the Washington Post, “I find it surprising that groups that are very supportive of science when it comes to global climate change … can be so dismissive of the general views of scientists” on biotechnology in agriculture.

Almost all seeds used by farmers have been tweaked through conventional plant breeding to produce more abundant and insect-resistant crops. The laureates say farmers now should be free to use “all the tools of modern biology, especially seeds improved through biotechnology.”


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