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Our Expert Voices conversation on food security.

Food security in the context of a growing population and in the face of climate change is a tremendous challenge. But the main bottleneck is not the lack of science or technology — it's small scale farmers' access to land and markets. These farmers produce the bulk of the world's food, but are squeezed into less than a quarter of the planet's farmland.

What farmers need: Reforms that give them access to land, promote local markets rather than subsidizing export commodities, and support indigenous agroecological farming methods that help to fight the climate crisis. Farms capture huge amounts of carbon back into the world's farmlands and result in resilient farming systems more tolerant to extreme weather patterns.

Bottom line: Top-down laboratory-developed technological 'solutions' under control of agribusiness, such as genetically engineered seeds, more agrochemicals and extreme mechanization, only lead us deeper into the food and climate crises.

Other voices in the conversation:

Pamela Ronald, plant geneticist, UC Davis, Focus on results new technologies bring

Eric Schulze, molecular biologist, Memphis Meats, Science can't be at the expense of culture

Deborah Delmer, plant biologist, Genetic modification is an important part

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Apple sets September quarter sales record despite later iPhone launch

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.