Writing exactly 130 years ago, Robert Louis Stevenson acknowledged in A Plea for Gas Lamps that “Cities given, the problem was to light them.” The he proceeded with his indictment of electricity saying the “urban star now shines out nightly, horrible, unearthly, obnoxious to the human eye; a lamp for a nightmare! Such a light as this should shine only on murders and public crime, or along the corridors of lunatic asylums, a horror to heighten horror.” Today we acknowledge that given growing human numbers, the problem is to feed them. However, we also cast dark shadowed over the prospects of using biotechnology to address the global food crisis.


Juma, Calestous. "Agricultural Biotechnology: Opportunities, Benefits, and Leadership." Testimony before the Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, U.S. House of Representatives, June 23, 2011.