The need for GM crops is growing rapidly as a consequence of the overriding priority for the sustainable generation of vastly increased food production. . . .
. . . . But any attempt to generate more food with current technologies, all of which require high inputs of energy for soil preparation and production as well as delivery of fertilizers and pesticides, will raise even further the already excessive carbon emissions resulting from agriculture. . . . [O]ur efforts to counter inputs in crop resistance to pest diseases and weeds also contributes to the high carbon footprint of agriculture. . . Thus… we need to deliver, as rapidly as possible, new traits by seed and other planting materials so as to minimize . . . the need of seasonally applied inputs. . . .
Currently, we see no clear approach to solving many of these problems other than by using genetic modification (GM). Complex traits. . . may also require extensive molecular guided breeding programmes. Nonetheless, GM will be the tool of choice in this dramatically difficult scientific and technological quest. . . . However, . . . we face two major challenges: public acceptability and a paucity of relevant genes.
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