The population of the world is predicted to reach 19.9 billion by 2025 (United Nations Population Information Network, 2011). According to Purchase (2005), this increase in population will bring along with it the problem of food security. The priority for the world right now is to develop an agricultural strategy which is sustainable, environment friendly, protects the biodiversity and enhances human well being. Policymakers around the world are considering the option of transgenic or genetically modified (GM) crops to solve this problem. GM crops contain a gene or genes which have not been inserted into them through pollination but artificially. The gene which is inserted may come from the same species or different species and are resistant to insects and diseases (Bhat et al, 2005). But the debate on the potential worth of genetically modified crops to achieve world’s food security goals is increasing. The policymakers around the world have to understand how this technology works and what are the opportunities and challenges associated with this technology (Otsuka, 2003). Let us look at some statistics associated with GM crops.
According to Fish et al (2004), corn, cotton, soybeans and canola together make up around 99 percent of the total commercialized GM crops. Other GM crops are also being researched into and many of them are at trial stage. Some of them are as follows: wheat, tomato, peanut in China and eggplant, rapeseed and cauliflower in India. The six major GM crops producing nations are United States of America, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, China and South Africa. Raney (2006), points out, in spite of the debate associated with GM crops, their plantation has increased at a double digit rate since their inception in... [continues]
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