Calestous Juma argues that advocacy groups are clinging to ideology and ignoring the potential of genetically modified crops.
Biotechnology sceptics have a right to question the role of biotechnology in global food security. But they are wrong to ignore the growing evidence of the potential contributions the biotechnology and new challenges such as climate change that require new technological responses.
Food security depends on four interrelated factors: quantity of food, which involves increasing agricultural productivity; access to food, which is determined both by income levels and quality of infrastructure; nutrition; and overall stability of the food system, such as resilience to shocks.
Genetically-modified (GM) crops or any other breeding methods on their own cannot solve the challenges related to food quality, access to food, nutrition or stability of food systems. But their role cannot be dismissed for ideological reasons.