Agriculture, innovation and environment

Ferry, N ORCID: and Gatehouse, A 2009, 'Agriculture, innovation and environment' , in: Environmental Impact of Genetically Modified Crops , CABI.

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Approximately 10.3 million farmers in 22 countries grew biotech (genetically modified) crops in 2006. Yet this technology remains one of the most controversial agricultural issues of current times. Many consumer and environmental lobby groups believe that genetically modified (GM) crops will bring very little benefit to growers and to the general public and that they will have a deleterious effect on the environment. The human population is currently 6 billion and it is predicted to increase to 9-10 billion in the next 50 years. This is at a time when food and fuel are competing for land and climate change threatens to compromise current resources. It is, and will continue to be, a priority for agriculture to produce more crops on less land. From the dawn of agriculture, humans have modified their environment. Landscapes are shaped to suit our needs and the plants we grow as crops are engineered to our tastes and requirements. Throughout history food production has kept pace with population growth as a result of our innovative abilities, but it did so at a cost. Future agricultural production should not degrade the environment as it has in the past, it must become more sustainable. Will the adoption of biotech crops help to meet this challenge?It seems that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature. Henry David Thoreau (1854)Whether new technology can resolve this dichotomy will be addressed in this chapter.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Ferry, N and Gatehouse, AMR
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Publisher: CABI
Refereed: No
ISBN: 9781845934095
Depositing User: Dr Natalie Ferry
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 13:39
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 12:46

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