As a citizen of a country with a population of 1.4 billion people, Prof. Yunbo Luo understands that food security is a real and pressing concern.
He’s using his position as director of the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering at China Agriculture University in Beijing to ensure that the next generation has the knowledge and training they need to keep the food coming — without sacrificing the natural environment.
“Sustainable development of agriculture to meet the needs of human development is the most important challenge facing agriculture today,” says Luo, who believes that genetically modified (GM) crops are part of the solution. “The greatest benefit that GM technology brings to the whole world is the liberation of productivity and the great improvement of agricultural production.”
Luo has been engaged in biotechnology since 1987 as a researcher and teacher at the university, which specializes in agriculture, biology, engineering, veterinary medicine, economics, management, humanities, and social science. “Over the years I have trained a large number of students to work in agricultural biotechnology, and these students are now playing an important role in the development of agricultural biotech in China,” he says.
His belief in the value of GM crops also prompted him to participate in the process that resulted in China’s biosafety legislation, as well as top-level design work that aimed to popularize the science of biotechnology.
“The use of this technology can ensure global food security more effectively and increase farmers’ incomes,” Luo says. “I would like all people to understand that plant biotechnology is important to solve the current food security problems, as well as improve human nutrition and health problems.”