Pamela Ronald, PhD, is Director of the Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation at the University of California, Davis. She is Professor at the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at UC Davis and also serves as Director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute in Emeryville, California. She participated in the Feeding the World, Ethically working group meeting in Ranco, Italy in October 2014. Here is a brief interview as part of the Perspectives on Global Food Ethics blog series.

 


 

Can you briefly describe your related background and interest in food security?

 

I am a plant geneticist and married to an organic farmer. Together with my colleagues we have discovered several agronomically important genes. One of these discoveries led to the development of a submergence tolerant variety that is now being grown by 4 million resource poor farmers in Bangladesh and India.

 

In your opinion, what are the most pressing ethical issues in your domain related to global food security?

 

The greatest challenge of our time is to feed the growing population without further destroying the environment. A key ethical issue is the proliferation of misinformation about food and farming.

 

Can you share one issue or anecdote from the Feeding the World, Ethically meeting in Ranco that may have changed your perception on one ethical problem within food and nutrition security?

 

One ethical concern is that a handful of large seed companies produce most of the seed for the developed world. It was pointed out that as long as they don’t collude, that the competition is healthy.

 

What is your hope for making progress on this ethical problem?

 

Drawing attention to the need for collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches to address food security constraints is my hope for making progress.

 


 

Global Food Ethics Project: Feeding the World Fairly

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Pamela Ronald

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