Abstract Pharmaceuticals and vaccines made by genetic engineering are well accepted all over the world. In contrast, there are many people, particularly in Europe, who are worried that food, made by the same new technology, may harm their health or cause damage to the environment. This is despite the growing evidence that genetically modified crops have the potential to improve world food security and the fact that there have, as yet, been no adverse results of their use in the food chain. Because of these worries and the mechanisms of politics, agricultural biotechnology has become the target of concerns about food safety (BSE, Foot & Mouth Disease), along with globalisation and the power of multinational companies. These concerns will, hopefully, be overcome by a more open and well-informed dialogue between scientists, opinion leaders, educators and the public. If judiciously applied, genetically modified crops will help increase sustainability and the fight against hunger in the world.