Global warming worries most agricultural experts, since it means that we will have to find new places to grow crops. But there’s one group that is HAPPY about it: the people who bring us genetically-modified food.

Pressure for consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods will intensify as global warming brings even harsher environments for our food crops. Australian researcher Mark Tester says, “Trying to grow plants in Australian conditions, as in many countries around the world where the conditions are harsh, is challenging, and it is likely to get harder under the effects of climate change.”

Tester’s research involves identifying genes responsible for making some plants more tolerant to hostile environmental conditions?such as drought, salinity and frost?and moving these genes into plants suitable for commercial production through conventional breeding and genetic modification techniques.

Australia is in the middle of a major drought, which has led to increasing levels of salinity. This currently affects almost 6 million hectares of Australian soil and costs an estimated $270 million a year.

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