Why do we need gm crops anyway almost a billion

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Why do we need GM crops, anyway? Almost a billion people face starvation and that problem will worsen unless we use the most effective technologies Feeding the swelling numbers of people on our planet is one of the most serious challenges facing our leaders today. According to a survey, by 2050, it is likely Earth's population will have reached 9 billion. Finding food for such numbers will not be easy. Science will not solve the problem on its own, of course, but clearly it has a key role to play. Without new technologies, future generations will starve. It is as straightforward as that. The report, prepared by leading UK plant researchers, is to be warmly welcomed. It is now 30 years since GM crops were first developed and their introduction debated in this country. The science has matured since then but campaigners' responses to it have not. Scientific ignorance and bureaucratic inertia continue to hold the upper hand and over the decades have blocked the introduction of a swath of promising projects: plants that can boost vitamin levels in our food, that can reduce farmers' reliance on pesticides, and that can
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9 International University, Vietnam National University - HCMC Plant Physiology increase yields for three decades. To repeat the point: this situation is unacceptable. We have a great deal to gain from growing GM crops. They offer humanity a way to improve food productivity without having to make further inroads into our planet's wild places to create more fields for farmers. The position was summed up by Sir Mark Wolpert , the government chief scientist last week, when debating the CST's report. "The challenge is to get more from existing land in a sustainable way or face the alternative, which is that people will go unfed, or we'll have to bring more wilderness land into cultivation." From that perspective, the case for GM crops is unanswerable. Not everyone will agree, of course. Green opponents to GM crops claim they pose a risk to health, though no research has ever produced any credible evidence to back this point. Thirty years ago, it could be argued that we should proceed cautiously because of potential health dangers. That argument is no longer acceptable. Other green activists argue that GM crops are tainted because of their connections with big business. But, as Mark Lynas , the former anti-GM campaigner who now endorses genetically modified crops, has pointed out, this state of affairs has arisen as a direct consequence of the campaigners' own behaviour. Their activities – invading farms and ripping up GM crop trials – have sent crop development costs soaring so that only major companies can now afford them. As Lynas puts it: "The anti-biotech campaigners complain about GM crops only being marketed by big corporations when this is a situation they have done more than anyone to help bring about." In short, it delivers a double whammy – and one with rich potential. Aphids cause an estimated £100m of damage to crops every year in the UK alone.
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