Biotech #Foodheroes: Rodolfo Rossi

Rodolfo Rossi

As a child, Rodolfo Rossi dreamed of playing a part in feeding the world.

As an adult, he discovered that agricultural science — specifically plant breeding — was one of the keys to unlocking that dream. Rossi went on to pioneer the use of plant biotechnology in Latin America, helping Argentina to significantly increase its contribution to the global food supply.

To that end, Rossi was part of an international team that created several new varieties of soybeans that advanced agriculture in Argentina and neighboring countries. Soybean products are now Argentina’s number one export.

 

“Every day, resources become more limited, making increased production efficiency essential. Biotechnology has enabled us to produce a greater quantity of food, feed, fiber, and biofuels. This has helped balance the increasing demands of the world’s population, contributing significantly and sustainably to food safety and food security.”

 

 

While Rossi sees a role for biotechnology in supplying a growing population with good, nutritious food, he wishes the public had a better understanding of its benefits — including mitigating climate change, controlling insects, diseases and weeds while reducing pesticide applications  and helping small-scale farm families produce enough to feed themselves and enjoy better lives.

“Communication in biotechnology is fundamental and must be continuous,” Rossi says. “Every day there are more developments and new products that will reach people and that they should know about. It is essential that we communicate that this is a safe science… controlled by the public institutions that ultimately approve each step, all the way to the final product.”