Podcast: By focusing on biotechnology breakthroughs, have scientists overlooked simpler solutions to our food security problems?

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Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images
Gene editing could revolutionise agriculture, with some scientists promising healthier and more productive crops and animals, but will consumers want to eat them? With the first gene edited crops recently approved for sale, Emily Thomas hears why this technology might be quicker, cheaper and more accurate than the older genetic engineering techniques that produced GMOs, and asks whether these differences could make it more acceptable to a deeply sceptical, even fearful public. Some are not convinced by the claims, and there are concerns that current regulations wont protect consumers or the environment from any potential risks.

By putting their faith in technology, have scientists and companies overlooked other simpler solutions to our food security problems?

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Jennifer Kuzma is a Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences and co-director of Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University. Find Jennifer on Twitter @jenniferkuzma0

Related article:  Talking Biotech: How do we decide whether to use gene drives?

Hiroshi Ezura is a leading scientist in the field of physiology, genomics, genetics, breeding and biotechnology of Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae plants. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from University of Tsukuba in Japan, and Ph.D. from Hokkaido University in Japan.

Neth Daño is a Researcher who has extensive experience in development and policy work on issues in agriculture, agricultural biodiversity, biosafety, climate change and environmental governance in Southeast Asia. 

A version of this article was originally posted at BBC World Service’s The Food Chain and has been reposted here with permission. BBC World Service can be found on Twitter @bbcworldservice

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