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Applied sciences and engineering/Agriculture/Horticulture/Agronomy/Crop science/Crop production

Evidence-Free Challenges Increase Public Misconceptions, Feed the World Of “Parallel Science”

Energy, water, and food are intrinsically connected, and figuring out how to increase availability of one without compromising access to the others will be a demanding policy challenge as global population heads toward 9 billion by 2050, three resource specialists agreed in a wide-ranging discussion at AAAS.

Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques, the AAAS Board of Directors has concluded. Legally mandating labels on GM foods could therefore “mislead and falsely alarm consumers,” the Board said in a statement approved 20 October.

The current global trend of rising average temperatures could bring worrisome reductions in crop yields within a decade, a leading agricultural economist told a Capitol Hill briefing co-sponsored by AAAS.

Michael J. Roberts, assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State University, said computer models suggest that average global temperatures will rise enough to cause severe weather extremes that could cut yields by 20% for major crops such as corn and soybeans for the period 2020-2049.