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Nobel laureate biochemist Richard Roberts says GMOs are key to healthy ageing

Oct. 30, 2017 - 15:11 By Bak Se-hwan
While millions of people die of hunger in developing countries, genetically modified organisms are an essential tool to fight malnutrition and, most importantly, to help them age well, Nobel laureate Richard Roberts said Monday at a forum in Seoul. 

Speaking at Nobel Prize Dialogue, hosted by Nobel Media in partnership with the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, the acclaimed scientist in genomics and molecular biology said good quality foods are a great source of “good bacteria” that can boost health and prevent diseases.
“We have bacteria everywhere in our bodies. Most of them are good trying to protect us, while some cause age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. It would be worth spending time to discover to what extent the bacteria live with us and affect our aging,” Roberts said in an open discussion session.

In support of GMOs, Roberts explained: “There are many myths about GMOs in Western countries, yet they help fight against malnutrition and solve starvation issues especially in developing countries where people go hungry every day. Food is medicine, and good quality food makes a huge difference in terms of how long you are going to live.”

Under the theme of “The Age to Come,” Roberts and four other Nobel Prize-awarded scientists attended the Nobel Prize Dialogue that kicked off its three-day run at Seoul’s COEX Convention and Exhibition Center on Monday.

The event is part of the annual Nobel Week Dialogue organized by Nobel Media and Nobel Center Foundation. The main one-day program is slated for Dec. 9 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Seoul forum is being held in partnership with Korean Academy of Science and Technology.

By Bak Se-hwan (