CropLife Canada has published its case for the continued use of pesticides and the pursuit of biotechnology to sustainably feed the world. The documentWe Stand for Sustainabilityoutlines the three P’s behind its position – people, planet and prosperity – and spells out how crop protection products and biotechnology can help feed the world’s growing population while protecting the environment and contributing to the $150-billion value chain that is Canada’s agri-food sector.
At a time when conventional agricultural practices face increasing scrutiny and genetically modified foods struggle for public acceptance, the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pesticides and plant biotechnology is hoping the public can be convinced to see the industry’s efforts in a positive light.
Featuring a smiling family of four against a backdrop of row crops on its cover, the publication cites the world’s growing population and says farmers must double their food production by the year 2050 to feed an additional three billion people on less land than is farmed today.
It says the continued use of crop protection products and biotechnology play a pivotal role in helping them meet that challenge.
“Pesticides play an essential role in controlling weeds, insects and diseases – all major threats to agricultural production. Without the use of pesticides, our food production would plunge by 40 per cent a drop that would have a dramatic impact on our ability to feed a hungry world.”
In addition to helping control disease and pests that can affect the quality of food, it says pesticides make food more affordable.
“The use of pesticides has resulted in 30 per cent lower food costs for Canadians. Plant biotechnology is helping to increase yields and provide more affordable foods for consumers. Through the use of plant science innovations, Canadian farmers are ensuring high productivity rates and increased food quality, giving consumers greater access to a wide variety of affordable foods.”
The document highlights the future promise of biotechnology for more nutritional food, biofuels, increased yields, reduced soil erosion and lower water use. It says the on-farm benefit of biotechnology between 1996 and 2007 in Canada was US$1.6 billion and globally US$52 billion.
The full document can be found at: http://www.croplife.ca/web/english/sustainability/.