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The cult of the amateur in agriculture threatens food security
- Trewavas, Anthony
- Trends in biotechnology 2008 v.26 no.9 pp. 475-478
- agricultural policy, food security, crop production, food production
- The incorporation of science and technology into agriculture has led to enormous growth in crop yields, providing food security in many countries. From the 1950s onwards there has been increasing interference in agricultural policy by a few scientists who are marginal to agriculture and from a variety of unqualified groups. These groups and individuals have used fear and anxiety and have greatly exaggerated minor problems to persuade an unqualified public of supposed dangers in food and to try and change agricultural policy. Fear and emotion do not lead to good policy, and the cult of the amateur that has developed could have serious repercussions on vital food security and future agriculture in developing countries; it must be soundly rejected.