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Industry Becoming More Involved In Ensuring Food Security, Conference Attendees Hear

“Food security concerns as the world’s population surpasses seven billion have prompted global companies to become more actively involved in ensuring future supplies, participants at an agricultural conference said on Monday,” Reuters reports. “The increased role has come at a time government involvement is hampered by the global financial crisis and led to fears a private sector-led expansion may focus on products with profit potential and neglect more effective alternatives,” according to the news agency. “‘We need to produce more food. The figures are debatable but we clearly need at least 50 percent more food in the next two or three decades,’ said Ian Crute, chief scientist at Britain’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board,” at the CropWorld 2011 conference (Hunt, 10/31).

In related news, Olivier de Schutter, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, on Monday “urged world leaders … to put the right to food before industry interests when committing to a food security plan later this week at the G20 summit in Cannes, France, warning of the negative impacts that biofuels and financial speculation have on this basic human right,” the U.N. News Centre writes. De Schutter also “warned that unless bolder actions are taken, the world will be unable to feed the nine billion people estimated to inhabit the planet by the year 2050,” according to the news service (10/31).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.