This is a serious and a deeply troubling issue, and one that is not going to go away any time soon.
<< Now, Bt eggplant is facing opposition in the Philippines, where anti-GMO activists havedestroyed Bt eggplant in protest. The Filipino NGO SEARICE (Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment), which works on the conservation of traditional varieties and on expanding farmers' rights, also opposes the introduction of Bt eggplant. (And, back in India, the government of India has now gone on the offensive, filing a biopiracy suit against Monsanto over the Bt eggplant.)
Given the two decades of State Department support for GMOs -- and its bullying behavior toward countries that don't wish to grow them or eat them -- the question isn't why a senior state department official is making a major speech extolling biotechnology, but rather, why the State Department isn't listening to experts, including U.S. citizens, who provide evidence countering the usefulness and safety of biotechnology and supporting alternative methods of agricultural development. For a government department that frequently calls for "science-based" policy, ignoring the totality of evidence on biotechnology is not very science-based. >>