Gene tech can bolster global food supplyOctober 11th, 2011 - 1:32 pm ICT by IANS
London, Oct 11 (IANS) Genetically-modified plants could bolster global food supply which is being challenged by rapid climatic changes and rising population levels.
Over 90 percent of the total food supply consists of either plants or meat from production animals raised on plant-based feeds.
By 2050, 70 percent more food will need to be produced worldwide on roughly the same area of farmland to keep up with global population growth. At the same time, major changes in climate are expected to occur.
Although a quarter million plant types exist, global food production today is based on only about 100 of them. Wheat, corn and rice account for over 60 percent of all production.
“We depend completely on the success of these few crops. But I am convinced that the fitness of current plant varieties will not last forever,” warned Atle Bones, biology professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
“All it will take to trigger a famine is one year of badly reduced yields for just one of the three main crops,” added Bones, according to a NTNU statement.
He believes that to ensure a secure global food supply, every existing means — including genetically modified organisms — would have to be used.
Genetically-modified plants are created by adding, removing or modifying one or more genes to breed plants with desired traits.
According to Bones, there are thousands of plants that could be cultivated for food once they are bred to remove toxic compounds or undesirable traits.
- Soaring food prices to precipitate global hunger, riots - Jan 25, 2011
- New approaches to crop development needed urgently - Jul 08, 2010
- Scientists create salt-tolerant wheat - Mar 12, 2012
- 'Multinationals seeking to control global farming' - Oct 25, 2010
- US rally to seek food labelling - Oct 17, 2011
- Scientists developing salt-resistant rice - Jan 23, 2012
- Fossil fuel dependence will limit global food output - Dec 12, 2011
- Improved technology a must to feed world's projected 9 billion people by 2050 - Mar 07, 2010
- Farming must embrace GM crops to fight 21st-century food crisis - Feb 12, 2010
- Feeding 9 billion people predicted for 2050 will be possible: Report - Jan 13, 2011
- Genetically engineered calf bred in China - Jun 11, 2012
- Higher CO2 could change plant evolution - Feb 17, 2011
- Food poisoning bacteria may be key to future of renewable energy - Sep 04, 2010
- Pregnant women may pass toxins in GM foods to babies - May 20, 2011
- Scientists say growing grain for food, not fuel, more energy efficient - Apr 20, 2010
Tags: biology professor, climatic changes, crops, famine, farmland, genes, global food production, global food supply, global population growth, norwegian university of science and technology, oct 11, organisms, plants, population levels, production animals, science and technology, toxic compounds, undesirable traits, university of science and technology, wheat