With the world shocked by rising food prices, and millions in the developing world struggling to get enough to eat, the problem of food security is right back on the world's agenda.
And with the world's population likely to rise to nine billion in the next few decades, feeding the world is going to become an ever-greater problem.
Are transgenic crops the answer to the problem, or do they, as Prince Charles has argued, threaten an environmental catastrophe?
What's the evidence on the success or failure of GM to date?
Thomas Deichmann is founder and since 1992 Editor in Chief of the bi-monthly German magazine Novo, published in Frankfurt. Since 1993 he has worked as a freelance journalist and researcher for numerous quality papers across Europe, including Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Focus, Die Zeit, Financial Times Deutschland, Die Welt, Brand eins, Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Die Tageszeitung, Ernaehrungsdienst (all Germany), Der Standard (Austria), Profil (Austria), Weltwoche (Switzerland), De Groene Amsterdammer (Netherlands), Trouw (Netherlands), De Morgen (Belgium), Helsingborgs Dagblad (Sweden), spiked (UK).
During the 90s, Deichmann's journalism covered international relations and the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. Since 1999 he has focused his research and writing on science topics, and modern biotechnology in particular. His investigative journalism and his "enlightenment" approach repeatedly cause international and national wide debates. He has appeared on radio and TV repeatedly. He has lectured at universities and journalism schools such as the Henri Nannen Schule (Berlin), Schule fair Publizistik (Cologne) and Technische University Berlin on reporting and journalistic standards.
He studied Civil Engineering at Darmstadt University and was awarded his diploma in 1989, spending some years working at Darmstadt University and as a freelance engineer.
Rob Lyons is a writer for the online publication spiked. Topics of interest include science and health issues, particularly the panic about obesity and the way food has been treated as a problem in recent years.
Robin Maynard has worked for over 20 years in the environment movement, starting as a volunteer at Friends of the Earth in 1985. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986 hugely increased environmental awareness and indirectly led to a full-time job tracking fall-out from Chernobyl with a mobile radiation monitoring unit. After various projects, Robin became FOE's Countryside & Agriculture campaigner from 1990-3.
From 1993 -4, he worked as producer/presenter on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today, as well as assignments for BBC World Service and Costing the Earth to Malaysia and India; reporting from Bhopal on the 10th anniversary of the disastrous pesticides plant explosion and travelling into Sarawak to investigate impacts of logging and palm-oil plantations. From 1994- 5, he worked as Campaigns Director at the Soil Association, before returning to FOE as Director of Local Campaigns from 1995-9. After a brief spell developing environmental content for Carlton TV's millennium programming and supporting Anita Roddick's campaigning interests, in 2001 he joined with a group of independent-minded farmers to launch FARM, where he worked until 2004. In 2005, he returned to the Soil Association in 2005 as Director of Communications, becoming Campaigns Director in May 2008.
Before becoming involved in environmental campaigning, he studied English at University spending vacations working at an agricultural merchants and farm in the Derbyshire Peak District. After University, he worked briefly in advertising, before escaping to a saner life, working as a tree-surgeon; later spending a year teaching in Egypt. On return to England, he went into volunteer at Friends of the Earth and his environmental career began.
Denis J Murphy was awarded a D Phil in plant biochemistry from the University of York, UK, in 1977. He then spent three years as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of California and one year as a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra. He has also researched and taught at the Universities of Munster, Germany; and Sheffield, Durham, and East Anglia, UK.
He has authored more than 250 research articles in international journals plus numerous books including: Plant Breeding and Biotechnology: Societal Context and the Future of Agriculture; People, Plants, and Genes: The Story of Crops and Humanity; Encyclopaedia of Applied Plant Science; and Designer Oil Crops.
Denis has been involved in research and international consultancy in molecular biology and crop breeding since 1985, and was a Head of Department at the world renowned John Innes Centre, Norwich from 1990-2000. He is currently Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Glamorgan in Wales, UK, where he teaches courses on botany and the history of agriculture, manages a schools outreach programme, and heads a research programme into plant responses to environmental stress such as drought and salinity.
He works as a government advisor in the UK and overseas where he specializes in the areas of agriculture, plant breeding, and biotechnology. For example, since 2001, he has chaired the Biology Programme Advisory Committee of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, which monitors and advises on R&D about this major global oil crop. He has broad interests in research and education and frequently participates in public debates on scientific issues ranging from stem cells & cloning to GM crops & organic farming. Recent appearances include the Hay Literary Festival and Abergavenny Food Festival.