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Is future of UK farming eco-friendly GMO crops and lab grown meat?

| | February 18, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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UK agriculture will have undergone a “green revolution” by 2050 with farmers growing genetically modified crops that are self-fertilising, pest and drought resistant, claims a think tank study.

The combination of self-fertilisation and pest resistance along with crops which are saline resistant and heat and cold tolerant will “significantly increase the yield per acre of many food crops”.

In addition, new strains will be developed through genetic engineering that have higher edible yields a plant – and each modified plant will produce more food than previous strains.

Many of these will be developed in UK laboratories and universities, including GM trees that can mature in six years instead of 50 – tree cover will be “many times what it is today”.

These are some of the predictions put forward for agriculture in a new “futurology” study entitled The UK and the World in 2050 [PDF], published by the Adam Smith Institute.

. . .Adam Smith Institute president Dr Madsen Pirie wrote: “Agriculture will be very much more environmentally friendly by 2050. . .

“The difference will have been achieved by the widespread, almost universal, use of genetically modified organisms (GMs).

“GMs will be used to develop strains of crops which can fertilise themselves by the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen to make nitrates.

. . . .

In terms of the livestock industry, inexpensive lab-grown meats will bring an end to “factory farming”, deliver huge environmental gains and free up large amounts of land for recreational use, claimed the study.

Commenting on the paper, Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, said the ability to produce meat in laboratories could lead to the biggest shake-up in farming.

Read full, original post: GMs and lab-grown meat ‘future of UK agriculture’

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