You are here:  Home > Genetic Technology > GM Crops > Food security > Food crisis
University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Genetically Modified Crops

Click to enlarge
Winnowing wheat in Ethiopia.
Photo courtesy of Niall Crotty.

Food security - the future

In theory there is enough food in the world for everyone, it's just not in the right places. Even if it were politically possible to redistribute that food, what about the future? Will we always be able to produce enough food?


The impending food crisis

  • The world’s population is likely to rise from 6 billion today to 8 billion in 2020 and 11 billion by 2050.  Population graph.
  • 95% of the increase will occur in the world’s poorest nations.
  • At current rates of food production, the increase in population will outstrip increases in world food production by 2050
  • This is without taking into consideration the problem of food distribution.
  • The worst effects will be felt in poorer countries unless they can increase their food production.


If this is the situation we have to face, there are two options for everyone to have enough to eat:

  • population control
  • increase the production of affordable food in the countries where the food is actually needed.

Population control is a topic for discussion elsewhere. So the question now is HOW to increase food production?

 Can GM crops help feed the world?


What's your opinion?

Average rating

Not yet rated

Read comments

speech bubble  No comments yet. Why not be the first person to add one?

Bookmark this pagefacebook myspace bebo delicious diigo stumbleupon twitter reddit yahoo google

Are we counting correctly?

Not everyone agrees that the dire predictions for world food production are accurate.

Vandana Shiva argues that world food production crop "yields have been defined in such a way as to make the food production on small farms by small farmers disappear."

"What the world needs to feed a growing population sustainably is biodiversity intensification, not the chemical intensification or the intensification of genetic engineering."

BBC Reith Lectures 2000
 Poverty & Globalisation - Vandana Shiva - 1hr
Requires Real Player
 Text version