Biotechnology companies assert that genetically modified crops enable better pest control, reduced spraying, safety for non-target species, higher stress tolerance and more consistent yields. In short, the industry believes that green biotechnologies provide a secure and sustainable food and energy solution. This article examines the industry's claims and argues that the evidence to support them is mixed. Themes discussed include:
biotech and climate change
biotech and biofuels
GM crops and yield productivity
can GM feed the world?
The article concludes that the market for biofuels could unlock the global market for the green biotech industry. However, current research has thrown up numerous reasons (competition for land resources, deforestation, diversion of food crops into fuel crops, to name a few) as to why biofuels are far from sustainable. As such, the author asserts, the promise of significant gains for the biotech industry on the back of biofuels may yet prove tenuous.