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Dr. Robert T. Fraley
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Dr. Robert T. Fraley is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto. After growing up on a small farm in Illinois, he earned his Ph.D. degrees in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Illinois, and then did post-doctoral research in biophysics at the University of California-San Francisco. After joining Monsanto in 1981 as a researcher, he led a group that in 1983 produced the first genetically engineered plants. In 2013 he was awarded the World Food Prize along with two other pioneers of genetically modified plants.

Entries by Dr. Robert T. Fraley

Healthier Soils Will Give Us - and the Planet -- a Healthier Century

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 1:14 PM

You may not quite realize it, but the dirt beneath your feet is teeming with life. In any given tablespoon of soil, there may be more than 50 billion microbes - bacteria, fungi, nematodes, mites, and more. Ninety percent of all the organisms on earth live underground. In a handful...

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Let's Use Organic and GMOs to Feed the World

(19) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 12:32 PM

As anyone who follows food and agriculture issues knows, much of the public discourse -- particularly around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- is highly polarized. The debates are often as personal and bitter as the extremes that characterize today's partisan politics.

For both personal and professional reasons, I'm among...

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To Deal With Climate Change, We Need Agricultural Innovation -- Now

(9) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 11:41 AM

As recent reports by both the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demonstrate (click here and here), a scientific consensus has developed around the collision between two of the most important issues of the 21st century:...

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GMO Foods and the Tooth Fairy

(24) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 3:11 PM

Food is so fundamental to human life that it stirs our passions like few other subjects. For the most part that's a good thing: Humanity needs all the passion we can muster if we're going to solve the problem of feeding 10 billion people just 35 years from now.

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Celebrating the Centennial of a Little-Known 20th Century Hero

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 10:13 AM

One hundred years ago this week (March 25, 1914), a boy was born in rural Iowa who became one of the greatest -- and least recognized -- heroes in human history.

That extraordinary description in no way overstates the case for Norman E. Borlaug, who -- although he became...

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Saying 'Not Really' to Chipotle's 'No' to GMOs

(79) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 2:13 PM

I'm glad that Chipotle's CEO, Steve Ells, has taken the time to explain his company's position on agriculture and GMOs. As I've said before, the future of agriculture requires dialogue.

Like Mr. Ells, and like most consumers, it also matters to me where our food...

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Humanity Needs Science, Not Ideology

(53) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 10:33 AM

Many people feared it was unsafe. Others argued that simpler, traditional methods were preferable. And still others believed the proponents were withholding information and motivated by money.

Decades of evidence proved that it worked, while the scientific consensus behind it grew rock-solid. Yet fierce opposition continued -- and continues...

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The Future of Agriculture Requires Dialogue

(36) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 12:41 PM

It's a great honor to have shared in the World Food Prize this year with two of my longtime friends, Dr. Marc Van Montagu, of Belgium, and Dr. Mary-Dell Chilton, of the United States. But it will be a far more important honor if the decision to honor the three...

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