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    Telling porkies: the big fat lie about doubling food production

    Tomlinson, Isobel (2010) Telling porkies: the big fat lie about doubling food production. Technical Report. Soil Association.

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    In the last couple of years, two statistics about the need to increase global food production by 50% by 2030 and for it to double by 2050, to meet future demand, have been widely used by scientists, politicians and agriculture and GM industry representatives alike. These figures have come to play a significant role in framing current UK and international policy debates about the future direction of global agriculture. These apparently scientific statistics are dominating the policy and media discourse about food and farming, leading almost everyone to assume we need vast increases in agricultural production to feed a population of 9 billion by 2050 (in the context of needing also drastically to reduce greenhouse gas emissions). Many commentators are using this to justify the need for more intensive agricultural practices and, in particular, the need for further expansion of GM crops.1 This briefing paper reports our investigations into the sources and basis of these figures. It outlines the assumptions upon which they are based and shows that, among others, the Government’s Chief Scientist, the President of the National Farmers’ Union, Syngenta, Monsanto, Government Ministers and the Conservative Party have all got their facts wrong.


    Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2013 10:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


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