Earth Day Recap: How Plant Science Can Lead To A More Sustainable Future

By Michael Stebbins. Michael Stebbins is the Director of External Engagement for the Council for Biotechnology Information. Raised on an apple and grape farm just outside Buffalo, NY, he has been in Washington, DC for more than 20 years working on a variety of issues in the medical, science and technology fields.

Every year on April 22, Earth Day brings people from all walks of life together under one common goal: raising awareness of environmental protection. This global day of action inspires the steps needed to address environmental challenges, and this year’s observance was exceptional. Everyone’s eyes were on science and the critical role it plays in the health, safety and future of our planet.

This year, GMO Answers wanted to take a deeper look at plant science and biotechnology’s positive impact on agriculture and on farmers. Hosted on Facebook Live, GMO Answers independent expert and sixth generation Florida farmer Lawson Mozley discussed the technology behind food production, specifically related to GMOs.

GMO Answers Independent Expert Lawson Mozley discusses the technology that goes into producing our food and how biotech impacts farmers every day.

Earth Day provides us with a time to reflect on the importance of science in agriculture and environmental protection. For farmers like Lawson, however, one day a year isn’t enough to acknowledge biotechnology’s significant impact on the work they do and the food we eat.

Lawson explains that genetic engineering is one of the greatest tools farmers have at their disposal. Thanks to genetically engineered (GE) crops, farmers can produce more food, while preserving natural resources. During the Facebook Live, he highlighted that his family “has been on the same land for over 150 years and I hope we’re able to stay there for at least 150 more. Biotechnology is possibly the single best tool to ensure that future.”

GMOs and GE technology can help enhance sustainability in agriculture, reduce food waste, and have made significant improvements in helping us combat threats to our environment, like climate change. “I was glad to be able to share a glimpse of the daily impact science, particularly GE crops, has on my life,” said Lawson. “The cost, safety and impact of this technology are things [farmers] consider every day.”

For nearly 50 years, Earth Day has brought awareness to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, and in those years biotechnology has made strides in creating solutions. Looking toward the next 50 years and beyond, work must continue to ensure support and adoption of science in agriculture. It will continue to play an integral role in the future of our food supply and the sustainability of our planet. That’s why standing up for science is more important now than ever. “I stand up for science because every single day it allows for huge improvements in my life,” said Lawson.

Have questions about GMOs and the environment? GMO Answers is committed to creating a dialogue about biotechnology and agriculture. Ask questions and learn more at