According to the World Food Program, some 795 million people – one in nine people on earth – don’t have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That will only get worse with the next global food crisis, predicted to occur within four years by experts at the recent Third International Conference on Global Warming and Food Security.
Unprecedented population growth, increasing conflict and displacement, natural calamities and emergence of major epidemics are some of the factors that will compound complexities of global food security over the coming years. And recent natural disasters in food-exporting Asian and African countries, as well as regions like California, may hasten a crisis.
In the face of these facts, any technique that can improve food production would be a welcome development. To counteract the coming problem, it is imperative to try novel and daring solutions across the agricultural food chain, including the gene modification of crops. While genetically modified (GM) crops could be our best hope for feeding an increasingly hungry planet, they need to be developed within a regulatory framework that takes potential risks into account and protects farmers, consumers and the environment.