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U.N. FAO Recommends Measures For Preserving Global Crop Biodiversity

October 26, 2010: 11:20 PM EST

Unless efforts to protect the biodiversity of food and agriculture crops are stepped up, the world’s food security could be in jeopardy, according to a report from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The report, which discusses topics such as gene bank collections and the effect of climate change, warns that more effort is needed to ensure that the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and their “wild relatives” is preserved. The FAO recommends, for example, studying the genetics of crop wild relatives to determine if they could help cultivated crops resist heat, droughts, salinity, floods and pests. The organization warns that without protective measures, as much as 22 percent of the wild relatives of peanuts, potatoes and beans could disappear by 2055, thanks to climate change.

"Crop biodiversity: use it or lose it", News release, FAO, October 26, 2010, © FAO (U.N.)
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