Climate change will cause a net drop in food production. This editorial argues that genetically modified (GM) crops have an important role to play in addressing the impending climate-related food crisis. The author asserts that GM crops can help to tackle the emerging food crisis in three ways:
by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with farming – for instance, non-till varieties of crop mean that more carbon is kept within the soil and not released during ploughing. In addition, there is potential for engineering new crops which require less environmentally damaging fertiliser
through the development of crops better able to withstand extreme weather conditions brought about by global warming, particularly regarding drought resistance
by enabling greater efficiency of biofuel production, thus helping to avoid an “acreage battle” between land for food and land for fuel.
The article asserts that while no conclusive evidence that GM crops are unsafe or environmentally damaging exists, genetically modified crops remain heavily criticised. What is needed, the author concludes, is objective research on the ways in which GM crops can be most effective in ensuring that food supply is both plentiful and sustainable. It is argued that the potential benefits of such crops in combating global warming are great and that, in time, European law makers may have to reconsider their stance on GM.