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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

1st Meeting of the 189th Session (2008-2010)

Are GM Crops the Solution to our Current Food Security Problems?

Prof David Atkinson
Scottish Agricultural College

In the Augustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh, EH1 1EL
On Monday 19th October 2009, at 7pm

It is now over a decade since GM Foods, in the form of a tomato paste first appeared on our shelves. Since then we have had a national debate on the subject and clearly identified GM products have disappeared from our shelves. It is however clear that much of the Soya which occurs in so many different products and in animal feeds has to be GM and any one who has visited the USA in the past decade will certainly have consumed GM products. Against this background now is a good time to ask whether the initial claims made for what GM might do to help with major world issues such as climate change, world population growth, energy shortages, biodiversity and if they have not what is the prospect of them doing so in the future. To do this we need to look at the development of GM crops to date and what is in the visible pipe line for commercialization in the next decade. We need to examine to what extent current and future developments are likely to make a significant contribution to both UK and International food security. We also need to look at the biology in the context of the development of views in society and the success or other wise of alternative systems of food production.

David Atkinson: A Brief Biography
1969 - 1984 East Malling Research Station, Kent
1980 - A variety of role in British Crop Protection Council; currently Vice Chair and trustee
1984 - 1988 Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen
1988 - 1993 Professor of Agriculture University of Aberdeen
1989 - First became involved in research on the production and use of genetically modified organisms
1993 - 2004 Professor, Vice Principal & Academic Director SAC, Visiting Professor University of Edinburgh
2004 - Independent Research Worker/ Consultant
2005 - Ordained minister in Scottish Episcopal Church
Director Falkland Enterprise Limited with involvement in its Organic Farming Programme

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Robin Harper MSP, will be in the Chair

Members of the Public are welcome to attend

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Secretary
Telephone: 0131 556 2161

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