Roger WIlliams Chairs Food Security Seminar

2009 Tachwedd 6 9:46 AM

Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and Liberal Democrat Foodand Rural Affairs spokesperson, today chaired a session of theWestminster Food and Nutrition Forum (WF&NF) focussing on the role of GMproduce in food security. The seminar was entitled 'Climate Change, FoodSecurity and Sustainability'

Speaking after the seminar, Mr Williams said:

"Food security has been rising up the political agenda for a number ofyears and I welcomed the chance to chair a meeting to discuss thisissue.

"The panel was made up of a wide range of opinions ranging from thosethat are pro GM, such as a representative of Monsanto, to those that areentirely opposed to GM, such as the Director of the Soil Association.

"Whilst there was clearly disagreement in the role of GM amongst some ofthe panel it was clear that all these organisations recognised the needfor sound scientific research on the issues of food production, GMproduce and the effect of climate change on both these issues.

"The global population is expected to reach 8.3 billion people by 2030and, as a result of growing wealth in many developing nations, demandfor food will increase by 50%. By 2050 the demand for food will increaseby 100% on the current level and agriculture will be in the front lineof delivering.

"The Government must take all necessary steps to ensure that the UK issecure in terms of food production, and also that it can providesufficient food to those areas that may not be able to produce itthemselves as a result of climate change and rising sea levels.

"Britain used to be a world leader in scientific research andtechnological research in the food sector and the Government should makeit a priority to return to that position."

NOTES:

Speakers at the seminar included: Professor john Beddington, ChiefScientific Advisor to HM Government, Dr Paul Burrows, Policy Director atthe Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), SueDavies, Chief Policy Advisor at Which?, Caroline Drummond, ChiefExecutive of Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), Peter Kendall,President of the National Farmers Union and Melanie Leech, DirectorGeneral of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF)

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