Biotechnology: What benefit for world food supply?

Whether green genetic engineering can contribute to securing global food security is a controversial matter. Little trade is reported with GM foodstuffs and technology to date has been limited to fodder crops and cotton. Moreover, the societal costs of GM technology are enormous. Inputs for licensing the variety, labelling and traceability are joined by aspects such as protecting intellectual property and guaranteeing farmers' freedom of choice. Instead of placing all stakes unilaterally on genetic engineering, less risky and less disputed alternatives should be given greater consideration such as cell culture and other tissue-culture processes and site-appropriate cropping techniques.
Dr Rudolf Buntzel
Commissioner for World Food Matters of the Protestant Church Development
Service (EED)
Bonn, Germany

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