Seed World

The Reality of Gene Editing and GMOs in South America with Peter Hyland

Aiden Brook, business development manager at Seed World Group, sat down with Peter Hyland, general manager at Rusticana Seed, at the Seed Association of the Americas (SAA)’s 8th Seed Congress of the Americas. Hyland speaks with Brook about his role in his family business and the atmosphere surrounding gene editing in Argentina.

Rusticana is the last independent foundation seed company in South America. At Rusticana, its core business is R&D. In this business, Hyland believes that an open mind and willingness to grow are crucial to success. Those traits come into play greatly when discussing topics that are not fully accepted yet across the industry in South America, such as gene editing and GMOs.

“Some things are not crystal clear from businesses yet, but we have to be open minded. We have to use those new tools,” explains Hyland. “As everything that’s new is, technologies at the beginning are very expensive. Then, they become more democratic and cheaper. I hope in the future, we could not only be using just the classic breeding technique, but also new breeding techniques.”

Amidst challenges like the invasion of Ukraine and drought in countries throughout South America, the world is struggling to grow enough food to feed the global population. While Hyland respects varying opinions on the subject, one thing is clear to him: new technology could help solve this issue.

“I know some people may oppose GMOs. That’s it’s okay. I can accept that. But we also have to accept the other parts of the story — that you need to have a supply chain with food,” he adds. “There has to be a balance, and in that balance, you need many tools, like CRISPR. Farmers need tools. The end user needs those tools for farmers and the industry to be able to supply those grains and to have bread on the table for supper.”

To learn more, watch the full video below:

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