Genetically Modified Crops And Food Security Pdf

genetically modified crops and food security pdf

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After the first agricultural revolution ten thousand years ago, people have gradually increased the yield by crossing different varieties of crops. As a result of multiple adaptations five basic food crops have emerged: rice in Asia, wheat in the Fertile Crescent originally from Ethiopia , maize and beans from Mesoamerica, and potatoes from South America that offers the nutritional base for 6. During the 21st century, agriculture will be confronted with great challenges.

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Genetically modified crops in Africa

Metrics details. What has long been suspected is true: genetically modified GM crops do have real benefits for the environment and for the economic well-being of farmers. The results confirm earlier and smaller studies and therefore are not unexpected. But they are particularly welcome for significantly informing the public debate on GM crops.

Since the market introduction of the genetically modified FLAVR SAVR tomato in [ 1 ] and the successful sales of transparently labeled GM tomato paste by Safeway and Sainsbury supermarket chains from to , GM crops and food have become the center of public controversy [ 2 ]. Although FLAVR SAVR and the tomato paste have vanished from the supermarket shelves, in , GM crops were grown on more than million hectares globally, by millions of farmers [ 3 ], many of them in developing countries.

However, this has not helped to build broad trust in the safety and environmental as well as the economic benefits of the fastest technology ever adopted by farmers in the history of agriculture [ 4 ]. Despite numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that GM crops and food are safe for the consumer and the environment [ 5 - 7 ], the exchange of words continues, often with unsubstantiated and misleading claims by nongovernmental organizations whose incomes rely on fueling public skepticism.

But is the GM crop debate over? While this may be true among scientists, arguments persist in public debates that GM crops are harming the environment and hurting farmers economically, especially in developing countries.

The reason for these lingering perceptions, especially in Europe, is that a large-scale statistical and scientific assessment meta-analysis of the literature to provide the necessary factual information on the impacts of GM crops in agricultural production was missing. The positive impact of GM crop adoption on yield is especially encouraging because this means that GM crops can produce more on less land.

In summary, the aggregate literature reveals conclusively that there are considerable benefits of GM crop adoption for both the environment and for the economic well-being of farmers - facts that are often misrepresented in the public debate. Why can this study be trusted? The authors focused on herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant crops maize, soybean, cotton for which a large number of original peer-reviewed impact study reports were already available and that have also been discussed widely in the non-peer reviewed literature.

The keyword search was unbiased and designed to retrieve peer-reviewed and gray literature reporting both positive and negative impacts. This approach was different from previous reviews of GM crop impact that were limited to peer-reviewed literature only and therefore may be been skewed toward positive results.

It is often studies without such peer review, for example, [ 11 ], however, that influence the public debate and therefore detract from fact-based decision-making processes. When dealing with a large dataset on GM crop literature, effect sizes and influencing factors are important considerations because they allow a quantification of the extent of GM crop impact rather than estimating only whether or not an impact was observed.

Although the review was limited to insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant maize, soybean, and cotton, the impacts are likely to be similar for canola and sugar beet, which are now grown on large acreages as well.

There was no evidence that studies funded by industry had any influence on impact estimates. Studies reported in the peer-reviewed journals trended toward a higher yield impact of GM crops than the average resulting from the meta-analysis [ 10 ]. This is perhaps not unexpected because non-reviewed gray literature published by nongovernmental organizations that was included in the meta-analysis typically has a negative bias.

With the facts on the table, will this end the GM crop debate? Probably not, because the reported pesticide inputs were lower and yield gains were higher for insect-resistant crops than herbicide-tolerant crops, which have been criticized for their large-scale monoculture production, increased herbicide use, and the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds. This will continue to fuel the debate because the use of GM crops is often a synonym for the way we grow crops, although one does not necessitate the other.

Large-scale and chemical-intensive monoculture production is also found for non-GM crops, but this is conveniently ignored by GMO opponents in the debate on GM crops. Changing agriculture to sustainable production does not exclude GM crops because insect- and pathogen-resistant GM crops would also be useful and beneficial in integrated and organic agriculture to reduce pesticide inputs.

The meta-analysis of the impacts of GM crops provides welcome new facts that cannot be ignored. The results confirm and extend earlier and smaller studies that already reported benefits of GM crops based on existing farm-level impact data for GM crops, for example, [ 12 , 13 ] or focusing on small-holder farming households in selected countries [ 14 ]. One can only hope that the collective evidence for the beneficial impacts of GM crops will now enable a more informed and rational debate.

Even if opposition and false claims continue to spur public skepticism, farmers must be allowed to choose and grow the crops - GM or non-GM - that improve their economic situation and help them to contribute to global food security. Bruening G, Lyons JM. Calif Agric. Khush GS. Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture.

Agr Food Secur. European Commission. Google Scholar. J Agric Food Chem. Crit Rev Biotechnol. Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations. J Anim Sci. Thanks to a new trillion-meal study.

A meta-analysis of the impacts of genetically modified crops. PLoS One. Friends of the Earth International: who benefits from GM crops? An industry built on myths. Economic and agronomic impact of commercialized GM crops: a meta-analysis. J Agr Sci. Brookes G, Barfoot P. Economic impact of GM crops. The global income and production effects — GM Crops Food. Qaim M. Benefits of genetically modified crops for the poor: household income, nutrition, and health.

N Biotechnol. Download references. Correspondence to Wilhelm Gruissem. The author has no competing interest in the meta-analysis reported by the authors. No payment was sought or received for writing the commentary. WG performs independent research on the genetic improvement of cassava and rice for sustainable agricultural production and human health. Reprints and Permissions. Gruissem, W. Genetically modified crops: the truth unveiled.

Download citation. Received : 11 December Accepted : 26 January Published : 23 February Skip to main content.

Search all BMC articles Search. Download PDF. Abstract What has long been suspected is true: genetically modified GM crops do have real benefits for the environment and for the economic well-being of farmers.

Background Since the market introduction of the genetically modified FLAVR SAVR tomato in [ 1 ] and the successful sales of transparently labeled GM tomato paste by Safeway and Sainsbury supermarket chains from to , GM crops and food have become the center of public controversy [ 2 ]. Conclusion The meta-analysis of the impacts of GM crops provides welcome new facts that cannot be ignored. References 1. Additional information Competing interests The author has no competing interest in the meta-analysis reported by the authors.

About this article. Cite this article Gruissem, W. Contact us Submission enquiries: visalatchi.

Genetically modified crops: the truth unveiled

The genetic modification of food is heavily politicised and there are numerous arguments for and against the practice. Proponents of genetically modified GM food claim that it will increase food security, primarily by making agriculture more efficient, while detractors argue that the technology is potentially dangerous and the cultivation of GM food could have unforeseen consequences that will ultimately prove detrimental to food security. By examining the use of GM in plant and livestock agriculture, this paper will consider both sides of the debate. Ultimately, some varieties of GM food have the potential to strengthen global food security while others are likely to be self-defeating in the long-term. Genetic engineering, which involves the modification of the genetic makeup of living organisms, has been practiced for over 40 years and commercial applications have been available for the last two decades. Biotechnology, of which genetic engineering is a part, is a relatively young field and it is yet to reach its full potential. Equally, however, the possibility of unintended or unforeseen problems arising from the technology remains and it would be irresponsible to rush into the widespread production of GM food without first testing the safety of each product.

We not only need to provide food and nutrition for a growing global population, but we must do so in the face of mounting environmental challenges. The global climate is changing, and land suitable for agriculture and food production is changing with it. Salinification and desertification, flooding and drought, and natural disasters threaten agriculture across the globe. With changing temperatures, meanwhile, come new risks from pests and diseases. The GMO Debate. In this five-part series , Devex looks at how perspectives of doing good through science versus corporate interests changes the outcome of the polarized GMO issue. Agricultural and food security experts are investigating a range of ways to address these challenges.


This POSTnote examines the potential contribution that genetic modification of crops might bring to increasing food production in. Europe, in a global context.


Genetically Modified Food and the Second Green Revolution

Feed Your Mind Main Page. Genetic engineering is often used in combination with traditional breeding to produce the genetically engineered plant varieties on the market today. For thousands of years, humans have been using traditional modification methods like selective breeding and cross-breeding to breed plants and animals with more desirable traits. For example, early farmers developed cross-breeding methods to grow corn with a range of colors, sizes, and uses. Most of the foods we eat today were created through traditional breeding methods.

Analyzed the data: MQ SK. Wrote the paper: MQ SK. Conceived and designed the survey: MQ. The role of genetically modified GM crops for food security is the subject of public controversy.

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While selective breeding has existed for thousands of years, modern biotechnology is more efficient and effective because seed developers are able to directly modify the genome of the crop. Plants that are genetically engineered GE have been selectively bred and enhanced with genes to withstand common problems that confront farmers. These include strains of wheat that are more resistant to drought, maize that can survive pesticides, and cassava that is biofortified with additional nutrients.

Social and Economic Issues – Genetically Modified Food

Food Industry. Food is one of the most important necessities for humans; we eat to live and at least most people are blesses with a meal a day, while some others can afford three or more. Independent of our culture and customs, dinning remains a vital aspect in different festivities across the world between and within families and friends. The improvement of plants and livestock for food production and the use of different conservation techniques have been in practice as long as humankind stopped migrating relying on agriculture for survival. With the quest to grow more and better food to meet the demand of our fast growing world population, genetic engineering of crops has become a new platform in addition to plant breeding. Molecular genetics has been and is a very useful tool used to better understanding of genes underlying quantitative traits associated with increasing crop yields or improving food quality. The eagerness to increase crop products has resulted in the genetic manipulation of plants, which has raised much polemics ranging from political, ethical and social problems.

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The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. Data S1. (PDF). Click here for additional data file.(K, pdf). Go to.


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The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production.

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