From Bjorn Lomborg, writing in City: Another Green Revolution
Shortly after the Second World War, a “Green Revolution” began to transform agriculture around the globe, allowing food production to keep pace with worldwide population growth. By means of irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, and plant breeding, the Green Revolution increased world grain production by an astonishing 250 percent between 1950 and 1984, raising the calorie intake of the world’s poorest people and averting serious famines. The revolution’s benefits have tapered off, however, as the number of mouths to feed has grown ever larger and as conventional breeding of new plant varieties has produced diminishing returns. What’s needed is a new revolution. Luckily, most agricultural scientists believe that the planet’s requirements for agricultural production could be met through genetic modification (GM)—if environmental activists don’t keep it from happening.
I’ve written positive things about GM foods. But I think Lomborg is overselling the benefits, here.