World Crop Experts Meet in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 26 (UPI) — More than 1,300 plant genetics experts are meeting in St. Louis to focus on safeguarding and increasing the world’s food supply, officials said.

Nearly half of those attending the International Plant Molecular Biology Congress are from overseas, said Perry Gustafson, a University of Missouri geneticist overseeing the conference.

A recent United Nations report said hunger was worsening throughout the world, especially in parts of Africa where Ethiopia last week requested emergency food aid for more than 6 million people, The St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch reported Monday

“If you understand plant biology, or animal biology, you will manage to find a way to produce more food,” said Gustafson, whose work targets gene manipulation in cereal crops.

The Biology Congress showcases the latest developments in agriculture and biotechnology, Monsanto chief of technology Robb Fraley told the Post-Dispatch.

“The challenges are global and require global solutions,” Fraley said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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