The genetic revolution is altering the way agricultural scientists think about even traditional crop breeding, as new knowledge about genomic structure and function sharply improve understanding of where to seek desirable food traits and how to incorporate them into commercial plants. The more controversial side of this revolution, inserting genes from different species into food crops as a way to incorporate attributes not feasible with traditional breeding, is the focus of this paper, but the "genetic revolution" will continue no matter what the result of the biotechnology debate.2
The challenge to "business as usual" for agricultural technology is first described, followed by a brief discussion of the first Green Revolution and its problems. Biotechnology can address many of these problems as well as push the yield frontier to new levels. This potential, and the problems standing in its way, are explained, with a concluding plea that the nutrition community become more actively engaged in explaining both potential and problems to the public.