文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-10-21 03:22 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

The UK should plough £2bn ($3.3bn) into crop research to help stave off world hunger, says the Royal Society.


The world
The world's food supply has to rise by about 50% in 40 years, the report says

It says the world's growing population means food production will have to rise by about 50% in 40 years and the UK can lead the research needed.

Approaches it endorses1(支持,赞同) include genetic2 modification3, improved irrigation and systems of growing crops together that reduce the impact of diseases.

It says that rising yields(生产量,投资效益) have brought "complacency(自满)" over food supplies.

Earlier in the year, the G8 pledged to spend $20bn (£12bn) improving food security for the developing world.

The Royal Society's report, Reaping the Benefits: Science and the Sustainable Intensification4 of Global Agriculture, concludes that science has to have a significant role if the food supply is to be maintained in 2050, when the world population may have reached nine billion.

The Green Revolution that created new high-yielding strains of crops such as rice and maize5(玉米) in the 1950s and 60s reduced hunger and improved food security, it says, but a new push is needed quickly.

"We need to take action now to stave off(避开,阻止) food shortages," said Professor Sir David Baulcombe from Cambridge University who chaired the study.

"If we wait even five to 10 years, it may be too late.

"In the UK we have the potential to come up with viable6(能养活的,能生育的) scientific solutions for feeding a growing population, and we have a responsibility to realise this potential."

GM divide

In June, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said there were now one billion hungry people in the world - "the first time in history" there had been so many.

Although it said rising unemployment and lower incomes were to blame for recent increases in the number of hungry people, investment in science to increase the supply of food was also needed.

The Royal Society says the UK should spend £200m per year for the next 10 years on food-oriented research.

Short-term plans could involve improving irrigation so water is used more efficiently7, and promoting management patterns where plants are grown together for the benefit of crops.

Techniques include growing plants around the edges of agricultural fields that attract predators8(掠夺者,捕食者) of insect pests.

Investment should also go into advanced plant-breeding technologies, including genetic modification.

Although acknowledging the approach can lead to problems such as the unwanted spread of inserted genes9 into neighbouring wild plants, it says the genetic modification can in principle(原则上,大体上) produce crop strains resistant10 to disease, drought, salinity11(盐浓度,盐分), heat and toxic12(有毒的) heavy metals.

Experimental strains resistant to drought and salinity are showing promise, it says - conclusions that were welcomed by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), the UK group representing companies in the field.

"Food security is one of the biggest challenges we currently face," said ABC's chairman Julian Little.

"Advanced crop breeding using biotechnology and GM methods... are already being used by more than 13 million farmers around the world and helping13 to deliver higher and more reliable crop yields while mitigating14(镇静,缓和) major threats to crop production, such as damaging effects of pests, diseases and droughts."

But environmental groups were less enthusiastic.

"The bottom line is that governments have made the wrong R&D investments, focusing research on unrealised biotech solutions, rather than on the needs of poorer farmers", said Becky Price, a researcher with GeneWatch UK.

"The use of transgenics is often described as a powerful tool. However to date, the only widely used traits(特征,品质) developed by genetic modification are herbicide tolerance15(除草剂耐性) and Bt insect resistance."

Herbicide tolerant crops are made resistant to a proprietary16 weedkiller, while Bt crops include genes that produce an insect-killing toxin(毒素,毒质).

The Royal Society also said that climate change is likely to increase the scale of the "challenge" ahead, by decreasing crop yields in most parts of the world.


1 endorses c3e60c44ba7aa93f0218a4cb8797284f     
v.赞同( endorse的第三人称单数 );在(尤指支票的)背面签字;在(文件的)背面写评论;在广告上说本人使用并赞同某产品
  • There isn't one country in the Middle East that now endorses the Eisenhower Doctrine. 但至今没有一个中东国家认可它。 来自辞典例句
  • Whether any of this truly endorses Dr Patel's hypothesis is moot. 这些视频能否真正证明帕特的假设成立还是个未知数。 来自互联网
2 genetic PgIxp     
  • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases.遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
  • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information.每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
3 modification tEZxm     
  • The law,in its present form,is unjust;it needs modification.现行的法律是不公正的,它需要修改。
  • The design requires considerable modification.这个设计需要作大的修改。
4 intensification 5fb4d5b75a27bb246c651ce88694cc97     
  • The intensification of the immunological response represents the body's natural defense. 增强免疫反应代表身体的自然保卫。 来自辞典例句
  • Agriculture in the developing nations is not irreversibly committed, to a particular pattern of intensification. 发展中国家的农业并没有完全为某种集约化形式所束缚。 来自辞典例句
5 maize q2Wyb     
  • There's a field planted with maize behind the house.房子后面有一块玉米地。
  • We can grow sorghum or maize on this plot.这块地可以种高粱或玉米。
6 viable mi2wZ     
  • The scheme is economically viable.这个计划从经济效益来看是可行的。
  • The economy of the country is not viable.这个国家经济是难以维持的。
7 efficiently ZuTzXQ     
  • The worker oils the machine to operate it more efficiently.工人给机器上油以使机器运转更有效。
  • Local authorities have to learn to allocate resources efficiently.地方政府必须学会有效地分配资源。
8 predators 48b965855934a5395e409c1112d94f63     
n.食肉动物( predator的名词复数 );奴役他人者(尤指在财务或性关系方面)
  • birds and their earthbound predators 鸟和地面上捕食它们的动物
  • The eyes of predators are highly sensitive to the slightest movement. 捕食性动物的眼睛能感觉到最细小的动静。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 genes 01914f8eac35d7e14afa065217edd8c0     
n.基因( gene的名词复数 )
  • You have good genes from your parents, so you should live a long time. 你从父母那儿获得优良的基因,所以能够活得很长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Differences will help to reveal the functions of the genes. 它们间的差异将会帮助我们揭开基因多种功能。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 生物技术的世纪
10 resistant 7Wvxh     
  • Many pests are resistant to the insecticide.许多害虫对这种杀虫剂有抵抗力。
  • They imposed their government by force on the resistant population.他们以武力把自己的统治强加在持反抗态度的人民头上。
11 salinity uYvx9     
  • In the sea water sampled the salinity is two parts per thousand.在取样的海水中,盐度为千分之二。
  • In many sedimentary basins the salinity of the formation water increases with depth or compaction.在许多沉积盆地中,地层水的含盐量随深度或压实作用而增高。
12 toxic inSwc     
  • The factory had accidentally released a quantity of toxic waste into the sea.这家工厂意外泄漏大量有毒废物到海中。
  • There is a risk that toxic chemicals might be blasted into the atmosphere.爆炸后有毒化学物质可能会进入大气层。
13 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
14 mitigating 465c18cfa2b0e25daca50035121a4217     
v.减轻,缓和( mitigate的现在分词 )
  • Are there any mitigating circumstances in this case ? 本案中是否有任何情况可以减轻被告的罪行? 来自辞典例句
  • A sentencing judge is required to consider any mitigating circumstances befor imposing the death penalty. 在处死刑之前,要求量刑法官必须考虑是否有任何减轻罪行之情节。 来自口语例句
15 tolerance Lnswz     
  • Tolerance is one of his strengths.宽容是他的一个优点。
  • Human beings have limited tolerance of noise.人类对噪音的忍耐力有限。
16 proprietary PiZyG     
  • We had to take action to protect the proprietary technology.我们必须采取措施?;ぷɡ际?。
  • Proprietary right is the foundation of jus rerem.所有权是物权法之根基。
TAG标签: food world crop hunger