Thought for Food Blog

Are Seed Vaults the Key to Food Security?

Posted by Tom Payne

17-Nov-2015 12:00:00

The Doomsday Seed Vaults

The idea of an impending Doomsday has existed in our collective conscious for centuries.

Whether approached from a religious or cultural bent (for example, 2012’s misunderstood Mayan calendar) or a more ‘worldly’ perspective (for instance, concerns over biotechnologies or nuclear warfare), the notion is by no means uncommon.

While the possibility of a global catastrophic event today appears distant, climate change and food insecurity – both imminent causes for concern – already have contingency plans in place. For over a decade, agricultural and food scientists worldwide have been establishing what many call the Doomsday Seed Vaults.

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Topics: genetic modification (GM), food security, cereals, protein, wheat, agriculture, food production, environment and sustainability

Sustainable Agriculture and Transgenic Crops

Posted by Dave Howard

03-Jun-2013 15:39:00

There is a growing realisation among all sectors of society that nations must adopt sustainable agricultural and industrial practices to realise the goal of providing fresh water, a healthy diet, and adequate living standards, not only in the short term, but also into the distant future.

The need to develop higher-yielding crop varieties that will be adapted to local conditions and conducive to sustainable agriculture, and remain high yielding in the absence of irrigation and large inputs of petrochemicals (i.e. fertilisers and pesticides), is a significant challenge, especially given the short time frame available.


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Topics: genetic modification (GM), food security, agriculture, environment and sustainability

Genetically Modified (GM) Crops and Potential Allergenicity

Posted by Sue Hill

06-Dec-2011 08:51:00

Genetically modified crops (GM crops) offer potentially enormous benefits to both the developed and the developing world. By improving food quality, increasing harvest yields and reducing dependency on particular chemical pesticides, GM crops could bring us one step closer to eradicating famine and improving nutritional standards worldwide.

However, before they can be used to improve the lot of mankind, GM crops have to be rigorously scrutinised to ensure that they meet internationally approved safety standards. These standards cover a wide range of safety issues and are in force to ensure that a responsible approach is adopted by producers of GM crops and that consumers are confident that any genetically modified foods entering the food chain – either as fresh produce or following food processing – will not compromise their health.


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Topics: food safety, food quality, genetic modification (GM), nutrition, allergies and allergens, pesticides, agriculture, regulations and guidance

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