Genome editing: the promise and the politics
Efficient and sustainable agriculture depends on a high degree of predictability. Both in the short-term, for growers and agronomists to make informed management decisions for the immediate upcoming seasons, but also in the long term to establish future agricultural policy and trade agreements, to define crop and livestock breeding goals, and to stimulate innovation in new products with transparent regulatory frameworks for pesticides and biotechnology; all of which require decade-long timeframes or longer. However, there are many factors with implications for world agriculture that are becoming increasingly unpredictable and which pose significant challenges for sustainable future food production. I will highlight two major areas of uncertainty, one which is environmental and beyond the control of humankind in the medium-term and the other, involving regulatory policy that is absolutely with in our short-term grasp. I will argue that providing certainty and transparency in the latter will make a significant contribution to global food security by ameliorating the effects of the former.
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