NABC Report 11: World Food Security and Sustainability: The Impact of Biotechnology and Industrial Consolidation
Published 1999 by NABC.
The influence of agricultural biotechnology on industrial consolidation may have lasting effects on the ability of US agriculture to produce adequate, safe, and healthful supplies of food — and to do so in an environmentally acceptable fashion. The impacts of these new developments on production techniques, economics, and sociology of agriculture cannot be ignored.
While there is currently an adequate amount of food produced, worldwide 800 million are food insecure, 180 million of them children, a situation requiring considerable rethinking of methods of equitable food distribution. However, the growing world population may force not just better distribution, but increased production, not from more land used for agricultural production, but from increased yields and improved food quality. Consolidation may not be useful in developing nations.
The acceptance of the products of agricultural biotechnology are influenced by globalization, industrialization, decentralization, privatization, polarization, and engagement, all of which influence acceptance or rejection of new technologies by both producers and end-users. Organic farming sees many problems with the use of agricultural biotechnology to address world hunger and instead asks for decentralization and the use of integrated pest management. Those opposing agricultural biotechnology successfully appeal to an educated urban population with full food security and great distance from food production. They tend to ignore the need of the growing number of food insecure in developing nations. Without new technologies to increase productivity, more land – much of it currently left wild a wildlife habitats –will need to be taken into production to the detriment of ecosystems.
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