Farming minister Jim Paice, who has previously voiced support for GM foods, said at the report's launch at the Great Yorkshire Show that Britain has a key role in the global struggle to raise food output sustainably.
"Whether it means embracing new farming technology or people wasting less, we've got to become more sustainable," he added.
The report points out that biotechnology "could play a role" in addressing sustainability challenges. But it then adds: "Lack of investment and the emotive nature of the debate around genetic modification in particular have affected the progress of these technologies."
It calls for "a debate between farming and food retail and manufacturing sectors, environmental and consumer organisations about the adoption of new and novel technologies in the food chain, including genetic modification".
The report's publication coincided with the announcement that the John Innes Centre has been awarded more than £6m by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue research into self-fertilising GM crops.