Is genetic engineering the answer to ending global hunger?
March 23, 2013
Hunger is one of the root causes to poverty due to the exponential growth of the human population. The effects of hunger are diverse and have a negative effect on the growth and life span of a person. Scientists believe that they can help alleviate hunger problems through alteration and modification of genes in foods. The research in this paper will give the pros and cons of GM foods and help answer the following questions that revolve around if society needs genetically modified foods to end global hunger, what are the negative and positive effects of preventing global hunger, what heath issues have been linked to genetic engineered foods, what are the benefits and concerns of genetic engineering foods and what effects genetically modified foods have on the environment. Does society needs to genetically modified food to end global hunger issues? “Genetic Engineering is a field in biotechnology that genetically modifies organisms to add value or quantity to plants and animals.” Too many people in the world suffer from hunger or malnutrition. It is important to realize that genetic engineering is a tool that has greatly affected agriculture and will continue to bring dramatic advances in crop and animal production. By being able to harvest plants that have a cycle of once a year, farmers are able to now harvest multiply times in a growth cycle. “Biotechnology has improved the quality of food, feed, and fiber, and it often lowers production costs and provides for a safer farm environment.” (Spears, 2011) While there are some promising aspects to possible improvement in the quality of the food supply for both livestock and humans through genetic engineering, but there is little hope of using it as a solution to end world hunger. The world hunger crisis has more to do with economics and politics than supply and production. Society seems to realize that investment’s in agriculture is all about increasing chemical sales and increasing monopoly control. Noticing that all this is taking place by companies that are not in the business of charity and that the food they will produce will be higher in price, because they have to pay for labor and such. The United States and the European Union have continued their economic integration and efforts at regulatory cooperation during the past on a range of issues. Even though there has been an enormous increase in GM foods there seems to lay a huge hurdle for achieving a mandatory pre-approval for all GM products, as well as labeling and traceability of these products. With the present hurdles, it prevents the US from exporting GM food nationwide. “Trade in food products is regulated through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1994 (the Uruguay Round). The Agreement on Agriculture adopted in 1993 obliges countries to provide minimum access to foreign agricultural products, especially in commodities that are not being exported by them; to convert non-tariff barriers into tariff barriers and to then incrementally reduce these barriers; incrementally reduce subsidies; and, inter alia, not increase the degree of protection provided in 1993. The agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitaty Measures allows countries to restrict the import of goods if they do not meet certain sanitary and phytosanitary standards. The Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement allows the private sector to protect intellectual property in all the member states of the WTO. The Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) prohibits discrimination between domestic and foreign companies or special treatment for domestic companies and labor. The dominant argument underlying the WTO ideology is that the promotion of free trade will benefit all countries, as each country will sell those products in which it has a comparative advantage and the price...
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