How we can feed the world with GMOs and organic farming

e e fb z
What spikes (Credit: Dag Terje Filip Endresen/ Flickr)

The world’s population, which has been climbing rapidly for more than a century, is expected to increase by about 2 billion more by 2050, to between 9 and 10 billion — an increase of about 30 percent.

But because global prosperity also will increase over the next few decades, many people will have the opportunity to improve their diets, and global food demand actually will increase much more quickly — by 70 percent, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to 100 percent, according to others.

Meanwhile, global climate change will make farming more difficult. And we will need to produce food more sustainably so that agriculture’s impact on the environment can be reduced. We’ve already identified the technologies and policies that can let us raise enough food for 9 billion people on the land we’re using now to feed 7 billion. These include:

  • Precision farming: advances in data science and information technology (IT) that help farmers know where and when to plant and water and fertilize.
  • Agricultural biologicals: topical or seed treatment products that contain natural materials like plant extracts or beneficial microbes, or are made from them. They complement or replace agricultural chemical products for weed, insect, and disease control.
  • Some organic farming techniques: cover crops and other practices that conserve water and improve soil quality.
  • Advanced breeding: new breeding methods that don’t involve GMOs but do rely on sophisticated computer analysis and other high-tech techniques.
  • GMO crops.

We shouldn’t let disagreements over that one tool distract or delay us from pursuing the others. All the approaches I’ve listed above would provide us with what’s called “sustainable intensification” — the ability to grow more on the same amount of land, in a way that continues to preserve our environment. We need to move ahead with them immediately.

Read the full, original article: Let’s use organic and GMOs to feed the world

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend