June 16, 2008

U.S. Official Appeals for Biotechnology to Cope With Food Crisis

U.S. official appeals for biotechnology to cope with food crisis

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Friday that biotechnology tools should be used to help cope with the food crisis.

"In the long term, we believe sustainable food security will come from advances in science and technology and the creation of an efficient global market for both agriculture products and food production technologies," Negroponte said during a speech at the World Food Price Laureate Announcement Ceremony.

"We therefore are strongly encouraging countries to remove barriers to the use of innovative plant and animal production technologies, including biotechnology," he said.

"Biotechnology tools can help speed the development of crops with higher yields, higher nutrition value, better resistance to pests and diseases, and stronger food system resilience in the face of climate change," he added.

The international community has been grappling with soaring prices of corn, wheat, rice, soybeans and other agriculture products and price hikes have set off riots and protests from Africa to Asia.

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