Academics from the University of Exeter warn that the nation underestimates the danger of increasing crop pests that threaten staple food stocks such as wheat and potatoes. Crop pests include insects, worms, fungi, bacteria, viruses including plant viruses. Though the entire world food supply is in danger, the United Kingdom is one of the most vulnerable nations. Professor Gurr:
The UK has significantly underestimated the scale of the threat. This is a huge problem that is lacking in public and political awareness. People are absolutely paralyzed with fear of diseases like Ebola, but while they are extremely dangerous, the need to tackle crop diseases is just as pressing. We are not spending enough on research, on training, on surveillance and on biosecurity. Unless we significantly step up our efforts we could be forced to change our diets in the future as crops come and go.