Increasing Global Food Security through Technology

With almost 1 billion hungry people in the world, food prices reached a historic peak in February this year. Even with a slight dip in March, prices this month remain 36 percent above April 2010 and only two percent below the peak in February 2011.

“If we don't act now to increase the opportunities for food security, we may never catch up," warned United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a speech today about the latest Food Price Index released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

With global food costs reaching such dangerous levels, ensuring a safe, affordable and abundant global food supply has never been as important as it is right now.

Major advances in agricultural biotechnology have made it possible to efficiently produce an abundance of food and help keep costs low. So, if biotech can increase crop yields and help control food prices, what’s preventing the world from adopting these practices?

One opinion says that some consumers think biotech crops are not as safe to eat as conventional crops. In a recent research review, Elanco President Jeff Simmons found otherwise:

“In fact, the research review conducted for this paper – including 28 independent surveys representing more than 97,000 people from 26 nations – exposes this myth. Taken together, these data show that about 95 percent of people are either neutral or fully supportive of using technology to produce their food.”

In addition, the leading scientific authorities recognized in the world – the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, the American Medical Association, the FAO and the World Health Organization – have all concluded that foods with biotech-derived ingredients pose no more risk to people than any other foods. Download the BIO food safety fact sheet.

Instead of continuing to debate whether or not people want “safe, modern and efficient technology used in food production,” it’s time to move forward with fully utilizing all of the advances we’ve made in agricultural biotech.

By the year 2050, global food production will need to double to head off mass hunger, according to the FAO. If we’re going to meet that challenge, biotechnology has to be part of the solution.