U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says his agency is building coalitions worldwide to increase acceptance of biotech crops.
The former Iowa governor addressed a “Global Farmer Town Hall” meeting at Iowa State University today. Vilsack said genetically-modified crops can help meet the increasing demand for food worldwide.
“Now there are some that would suggest there is an inherent conflict on farmers increasing reliance on agriculture technology and the health of our environment,” Vilsack said. “But when managed appropriately, farm and ranchlands that embrace science and new technology can produce more, while preserving much of the native biodiversity.”
Vilsack cited data from the United Nations which concludes population growth will require the world to double its food production by 2050. Vilsack suggested crop scientists and the world’s farmers have some key questions with which to grapple.
“How will we produce more with less water?” Vilsack asked. “How will we produce more, while adapting to climate change and severe weather patterns?”
Vilsack said both genetically-modified crops and organic production are needed to meet the growing demand for food.
Today’s conference in Ames was timed to coincide with World Food Prize festivities in central Iowa.