BRUSSELS, December 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Prof. John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, asserted that all agricultural policy must be founded on science and have a sound evidence basis. Having a chief scientific advisor with the responsibility to look at all stages of policy development has real potential to improve policy-making, he said. Beddington delivered a keynote address at the Food Supply Forum: Choices Implications event in Brussels, organised by the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA).

Food security is not an unfortunate condition of some distant land but a very European problem, said Jacques du Puy, President of ECPA. The biggest threat may not be nature, but ideological clutter that tends to obscure our vision. What we need is evidence, scientifically valid evidence.

Beddington depicted what he calls the 'perfect storm' in the making with four drivers: energy, water, food and climate.

Wrapping up the food supply forum moderator Neil Parish, former Chairman of the European Parliament's agriculture committee called for food security to be the key issue for the EU's coming Science Advisor.

The event, which attracted an audience of more than 150 to the Concert Noble, was designed to explore competing visions of food security and how Europe can best meet its supply challenges. Following Beddington's opening remarks, a lively and open debate took place.

Debate participants examined the impact of various issues such as population growth, food shortages, food pricing, climate change, biodiversity on the food supply. The panellists were as follows:

- John Beddington, UK Government's Chief Scientific Adviser - Ariel Brunner, BirdLife - Willy de Greef, EuropaBio - Timothy Hall, DG Research, EC - Jacques du Puy, ECPA - Peter Melchett, UK Soil Association - Frederic Simon, EurActiv

The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) represents the crop protection industry interests at European level. Its members include all major companies and national associations across Europe. For more information:

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SOURCE: European Crop Protection Association

CONTACT: Contact: Phil Newton, Senior Manager Communications, EuropeanCrop Protection Association, aisbl, Tel: +32-(0)2-663-1550,