GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS
PROJECT MACRO ECONOMICS II
BBE IV SEMESTER
WHAT ARE GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS?
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism. Currently available GM foods stem mostly from plants, but in the future foods derived from GM microorganisms or GM animals are likely to be introduced on the market. Most existing genetically modified crops have been developed to improve yield, through the introduction of resistance to plant diseases or of increased tolerance of herbicides.
1960’s GREEN REVOLUTION
What is the Green Revolution?
The Green Revolution was initiated in the 1960’s to address the issue of malnutrition in the developing world. The aim of Green Revolution was to increase food production and encourage self-sufficiency in LEDCs. Its technology involved bio-engineered seeds that worked in conjunction with chemical fertilizers and heavy irrigation to increase crop yields. The technology was readily adopted in many states in India and for some was a great success. However, there were many farmers who could not afford the inputs necessary to participate in the Green Revolution and gaps between social classes widened as wealthy farmers got wealthier and poor farmers lagged behind. Introduction of GM Crops
Genetically-modified crops (GM) have been embraced as a solution for the developing world’s agriculture and food problems because it believed that they dramatically increase food production, reduce the need for pesticides, help produce drought-resistant crops that grow on land regarded as unsuitable for agriculture, raise the incomes of farmers, and reduce disease by producing crops full of vitamin, minerals and other nutrients. Genetically modified (GM) crops have been used commercially for more than 10 years. Available impact studies of insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant crops show that these technologies are beneficial to farmers and consumers, producing large aggregate welfare gains as well as positive effects for the environment and human health. GM crops can contribute significantly to global food security and poverty reduction in future.
TYPES OF GM CROPS
* GM products include strawberries and tomatoes with a gene from an Arctic flounder that prevents them dying in a frost; gene-altered soybeans produced by Monsanto that resist fungus and weed and a popular herbicide made by Monsanto; potatoes with a bacteria that is toxic to leaf chewing insects but not humans; corn strains that resist the European corn borer. * Genetically-modified (GM) versions of corn, soy beans, canola and cotton are now widely used. Just two engineered traits are sold: 1) resistance to glyphosate, a herbicide used to kill weeds and crops; 2) use of BT, a microorganism that produces chemicals that are toxic to insects not humans. * Bioengineers have developed rice stains that are dramatically more productive and nutritious than current stains. * Scientists are working on making cancer-fighting broccoli, vaccine-delivering bananas, saturated-fat-free oils, allergy-free peanuts and soy products and vitamin-enriched, high-protein sweet potatoes and cassava for the poor. Bioengineering has also produced an “Enviropig” that produces manure with no polluting phosphorus; trees that produce pulp easily made into paper with harmful chemicals.
COMMERCIALIZED GM CROPS
The commercial application of GM crops began in the mid-1990s. Since then, the technology has spread rapidly around the world, both in industrialized and developing countries. The countries with the biggest share of the GM crop area were the United States (50%), Argentina (17%), Brazil (13%), India (6%), Canada (6%), and China (3%). Also a few other EU...