Monday, 18 June 2018

Food Crisis or a Food Crisis?


The Chief Executive of pesticide manufacturer, Syngenta, which is now owned by China, is apparently claiming that curbs on 'agricultural' technologies might well 'lead to a food crisis in 10 years' as the impact of climate change take hold (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/17/high-risk-food-shortages-pesticides-chemical-giant). He (somewhat predictably) contradicts UN claims that that pesticides are not a panacea for feeding the world, suggesting that farmers can get better at 'focusing' the use of these chemicals (and might well use less). I do worry, however, that a company that reportedly sells EU-banned herbicides (such as Paraquat) in the US and Brazil is not totally focused on the detrimental effects of agricultural chemicals on populations of pollinating insects (as well as damaging exposed humans). Losses of these species would also trigger early food crises. We need technological innovation but we also need controls on herbicide and insecticide use.

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