FAO Chief says GM Crops Not Answer to Hunger
PARIS - Genetically modified crops (GMOs) are not the answer to hunger in the world now but they could be as the global population soars, the head of the United Nations' world food body was quoted as saying yesterday.
In an interview with French daily Le Monde, Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that the world's population was set to rise to nine billion from six billion over the next 30 years. The amount of arable land was also shrinking.
"To feed the 800 million people in the world who are hungry today, there is no need for GMOs. But to feed nine billion, what must be done?" Diouf was quoted as saying.
"I repeat that we do not need GMOs for the moment. But they are a possible option, so long as precautions exist regarding their impact on public health and the environment," he said.
The FAO chief described genetically altered crops as a "double-edged sword" that could be used to feed those most in need but could also be subject to manipulation.
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