Food Crisis Requires “an End to Political Grandstanding”

Farmer Gene

Nature Biotechnology published an editorial in their March edition in which they state that averting a global food crisis will require the deconstruction of several hurdles to the deployment of new strategies in plant breeding.

Last October, just 12 years after the 6 billionth person was born, the United Nations declared that 7 billion people now inhabit the earth. Of these 7 billion, close to a billion are chronically undernourished and another billion are malnourished.

The world’s population will swell to 9 billion in the next 50 years, during which the human race will consume twice as much food as it has since the beginning of agriculture, 10,000 years ago.

As the rate of population growth outstrips the rate of yield growth for crop staples, the world faces a food crisis that will require unprecedented intellectual, financial and material investment. It will also require the full deployment of every plant breeding technology currently available, including the generation of crops via transgenesis.

But even more importantly, it will necessitate a reemphasis on innovation, greater diversification of the agrochemical and agbiotech industry, streamlining and harmonization of regulatory oversight, and an end to the political grandstanding that has characterized the agbiotech debate so far.

Crop improvement will also be key, necessitating the deployment of the best plant breeding technologies currently available.

For more on this issue, click here:  http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v30/n3/index.html

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