retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times writes about a report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs concluding that "climate change threatens to undermine not only how much food can be grown but also the quality of that food as altered weather patterns lead to a less desirable harvest."

According to the story, "Research indicates that higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reduced the protein content in wheat, for example. And the International Rice Research Institute has warned that the quality of rice available to consumers will decrease as temperatures rise, the report noted."

Which means, the council says, that "the US should embrace research into animal biology and plant management with the kind of enthusiasm it did space exploration in the 1960s," with the understanding that "the consequences of inaction could be severe … Scientists already have been investigating breeds of chicken and cattle that can thrive in triple-digit temperatures, grapes that are resilient to heat fungi and crops that won't whither as temperatures rise."
KC's View:
This is where some of my concerns about GMOs tend to break down … because it isn't hard for me to imagine that in a world where climate change is having an enormous impact, genetic engineering could play a role in allowing agriculture to thrive. It reinforces for me the fact that none of this is simple.