Food security to be investigated by MPs

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food price inflation, Food security, World population, Agriculture

The need for GM crops will be hotly contested as MPs investigate food security
The need for GM crops will be hotly contested as MPs investigate food security
The need for genetic modification (GM) is set to be hotly contested, as the House of Commons (HoC) Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee begins a new inquiry into food security.

The inquiry, which was announced today, is designed to ensure that UK farming and food sectors are sustainable enough to meet the global challenges we face. It is the second inquiry EFRA has conducted into food security. The last one was carried out in 2009.

Globally, climate change, population growth, energy supply and water security are all putting pressure on food production and have the potential to lead to higher food prices. In the UK, food price inflation was 3.1% in 2012 compared with the previous year rising to 4.4% by the middle of 2013.

The new UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies seeks to exploit opportunities to develop and adopt new and existing technologies, products and services to increase productivity.

GM technology is one option. Its supporters argue that it has the potential to increase crop yields and contribute to a more resilient agricultural system. However, others fear the unknown long-term environmental implications of this technology.

EFRA has invited written evidence, with a deadline of Tuesday December 10 2013. It is seeking evidence on the following issues:

  • How best to improve UK (and EU) food security
  • The relationship between the price of food and the cost of producing it
  • Global food supply volatility
  • The potential value of science and GM technology
  • The contribution of food supply chains and traceability
  • The impact of climate change
  • Obstacles facing food producers
  • Ways of increasing self sufficiency

Further information on the inquiry, visit EFRA's website​.

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1 comment

GM crops are a dud

Posted by Bob Phelps,

Genetically manipulated soy, corn, canola, cotton and sugarbeet cannot 'feed the world'. GM consistently yields no more than the best conventional varieties. The EU's GM-free farms far outclass the USA's predominantly GM production. The rational strategy for containing food prices is to rescue and redeploy the 30-50% of food that is wasted globally. There is enough food for everyone to eat well, but it is traded to where it is most profitable, not to where poor people are starving and malnourished. Prince Charles is on the right track!

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