The following is an edited excerpt.
In the 1950s, Norman Borlaug introduced new genes into wheat and rice that increased their yield three-fold. A billion are alive today who would have starved, but for Borlaug’s use of science to improve agriculture. The world population will rise to nine billion by 2050; these extra people will have to be fed using the same area of agricultural land that is used now. Yields per acre will have to double at least. But mankind has been fiddling with plant genes for 10,000 years to boost yields. The mutations Borlaug used were just a natural manipulation, yet this “green revolution” massively increased crop yields.
Conventional breeding methods are slow and often create genetic baggage that takes decades to undo. Only with the adoption of new technologies, including genetic modification, can we have a hope of improving yields.
Read the full story here: Stop GM and you’ll watch people die