Feeds

UK.gov serves up GM food as price hike fix

Brown pushes Greens off plate while slamming food waste

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The government's former chief science adviser Sir David King has said genetically-modified crops represent our best chance for improving yields sufficiently to deal with current food price problems.

According to the FT, King said: "There is only one technology likely to deliver [the yield increases needed] and that is GM.... We need more crop per drop [of water] because of the fresh water problem. Unless you move into plant technologies to develop these crops, food provision is not going to increase."

"The future lies there [with GM]. And this is urgent."

The comments coincide with the publication of a Cabinet Office report, Food Matters: Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century, which also supports a softer line on GM production.

The Cabinet Office report said: "Further advances in science and technology are likely to impact on food production, potentially increasing yields and making food healthier and more environmentally sustainable." But the report also notes that no such crop is approved for commercial growing in the UK, and "public trust in the new technologies is a key issue".

The report also notes that British consumers waste a third of the food they buy - 6.7m tonnes. This costs the average family £420 a year and creates greenhouse gases equivalent to one car in five on British roads.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that although action was needed to improve food supplies UK households could help by reducing unnecessary demand, or wasted food. Brown is on his way the G8 meeting in Japan where he also predicted to call for a moratorium on the use of biofuels.

The report also predicts a growing role for nanotechnology and predicts non-edible nanotech - like coatings on packaging - is likely to be less contentious and will therefore grow quickly.

It said the move to biofuel was "creating a growing, inelastic source of demand for grain and oilseeds that will further tighten the global balance of supply and demand". It predicts grain prices will more closely follow oil prices in future. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?