Oct. 20, 2009
Leaked extracts from a report due to be published by the Royal Society later this week appeared in the national press over the weekend.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Royal Society, a respected national academy of science, will call on policy makers to adopt GM technology in order to feed a world population due to hit 9 billion by 2050.
A source told the Daily Telegraph: “The report will say the right GM crops should be used in the future to alleviate food shortages.
"Where GM has been proved effective at either increasing yields or else resistant to diseases it should be used in the UK.
"GM crops need to be looked at one by one. They are not the only solution to world hunger but they are part of it.”
The Royal Society report ‘Reaping the benefits: Science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture’ will face a strong backlash from anti-GM campaigners.
Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, told the Farmers Guardian last week that GM technology was ‘inherently risky’ and should not be adopted.
"Consumers in the UK, and in most countries throughout the world, want to be able to buy food that doesn’t contain GM ingredients.
"They feel that GM is an inherently risky technology with unknown consequences, and science supports their views,” he said.
The year-long Royal Society study will be formally published on Wednesday, October 21.
It will examine the current and predicted threats to food-crop production, the contribution that science and technology can make to future food security, and the likely consequences and impacts of the technologies discussed.
The study will make recommendations as to how UK Government, funding bodies, academia and industry can begin to address the challenge at a local and global level.
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