The path to a sustainable food future “will require unleashing the best power of our best scientists,” said former United States President Barack Obama.
Speaking at the Global Food Innovation Summit conference in Milan on May, Mr. Obama said reducing greenhouse gas emission would require better seeds, storage and crops that grow with less water and in harsher climates. “There is such a thing as being too late,” he said.
Food was “a very emotional issue because it is so close to us and is part of our families and part of what we do every single day. I think people are more resistant to the idea of government or bureaucrats telling us how to eat, what to eat and what to grow.”
The food system from rearing animals to processing raw materials was the second biggest contributor after energy to greenhouse gas emissions. He warned that agriculture and land use could account for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions in the future. “Even if every country somehow puts the breaks on the emissions that exist today, climate change would still have an impact for our world for years to come,” he said.
Mr. Obama said that while the debate around genetically modified crops was understandably controversial due to the poor legacies of the tobacco and pharma industries in truthfully reporting about the dangers of their products, he was concerned that the future of GMOs was too hastily judged. “It’s okay for us to be cautious … but I don’t think we can be closed off to it. I don’t think we can be closed minded to it.”
For a video of Mr. Obama’s speech and discussion see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaQpffnZRWA
Source: POLITICO Morning Agri & Food Europe and YouTube