Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Time To Stock Up The Cupboards?

According to an article in Monday's Daily Express, the Government have produced a rather alarming report, suggesting that unless drastic action is taken Britain may run out of food within the next 20 years. I am very suspicious of this report as it seems to focus on reviving the argument for GM foods, which was aired a few years ago and thoroughly rejected. Part of the report compiled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concludes that the public must accept genetically modified food and claims that society cannot be 'complacent' about its ability to feed itself. This sounds very much to me like a scare tactic.
One of the more worrying aspects of the report is the fact that it urges shoppers not to insist on always buying local food in order to boost the prosperity of farmers in developing countries. Surely, this would harm our own farming and other food producing industries, which are already struggling, even more. We are already reliant on the Middle East for oil and Russia for gas and have no control over supplies or prices. Do we really want to put ourselves in the same position with our food.
The report also predicts that 60% of Britons will be be obese by 2050 unless diets are improved. This is not being brought about by eating our home grown fresh fruit and vegetables but by eating fast food items packed with preservatives and colourants. On the one hand we are encouraged to support Farmers Markets and check labels for the little tractor symbol, whilst on the other hand we are now being told to eat more produce imported from developing countries. Contradictory, or what? Remember the wartime slogan 'dig for victory'? It may come to that again.