Europeans tend to be strongly against consumption of genetically modified (GM) food and yet modified organisms are central to the modern production of cheese, wine and spirits.
Vast amounts of GM foodstuffs are also coming into Europe for inclusion in many food products used daily, said the senior adviser on biotechnology to US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Jack Bobo delivered a talk at University College Dublin today looking at the differences between the US and the European experience with genetically modified (GM) crops.
Europeans remained reluctant to accept GM crop foods, but could afford to do so. This was not the case in many developing countries who had accepted the use of GM because of the need to produce more food, both for local consumption but also to provide exports, he said.
The growing world population was going to make it increasing difficulty to produce enough food to feed the world, with population expected to reach 11 billion by 2050, he said.
That would add an addition 75 million people a year, like adding an extra Germany every year from now. “How are we going to feel these people and feed the billion people who are not getting enough today?” he asked.