1) or 2)?
1): new genetically modified crop varieties
2): new naturally grown crop varieties
Moreover, the policies of Obama’s regulatory agencies toward genetically engineered crop plants have prevented the development of new crop varieties that could have blunted the impact of this and future droughts. It is far better to mitigate a natural disaster than to respond to it after the fact.
The benefits of genetically engineered crops are proven.
The writer is making the case that the regulatory agencies have been too cautious in their attitude towards genetically modified crops and have thereby prevented the development of modified varieties that may be able to better withstand drought. So (1) is correct.
not a teacher