Investigan cultivos en el Reino Unido

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UK crop research

Britain's academy of sciences, The Royal Society, is warning that the world will have to increase food production by 50% by 2050. It has recently published a report calling on the UK government to spend more than $3bn on crop research.

Reporter: Keith Adams

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The Royal Society says that by the middle of the century the global population may reach 9 billion. And feeding those extra mouths is a major challenge for the planet, compounded by the spectre of global warming.

Professor David Baulcombe of Cambridge University, who led the research, says a billion people are already malnourished. Professor Baulcombe says the money the government should plough into crop science is needed immediately. If we wait ten years, he says, it may be too late. The genetic manipulation he refers to could produce crop strains resistant to disease, drought and salinity.

But the issue of genetically modified crops is still something of a hot potato, despite the technology being already used by millions of farmers. Environmental groups say the usefulness of GM crops has not been proven, and the threat they pose by letting altered genes spread into other plants is significant.

Keith Adams, BBC News, London

Listen to the words

the global population la población mundial

feeding those extra mouths is a major challengealimentar a todas esas personas es un reto

compounded by the spectre empeorado por la amenaza (del calentamiento global)

malnourisheddesnutridas

plough intoinvertir en

crop science la investigación de cultivos

resistant to resistentes a

genetically modified (GM) genéticamente modificados

something of a hot potato algo controvertido

spread into (que) contaminen (otras plantas)