GMOs– a solution to the global food crisis?
Given the increasing global demand for food (the world’s population is estimated at 9 billion in 2050 against 6.6 billion today), given the massive reduction of cultivated areas, and given the global warming which weakens the crop yield, it is clear to me that these three main reasons justify the use of GM crops inevitable in the coming years. The only question that arises is that of technology transfer to developing countries, and intellectual property. This is the same debate as regards access to medicines in poor countries.
Today, there are 850 million people worldwide who suffer from undernourishment. Many geographic areas are facing recurrent food shortages and famines chronic. The causes of the global food crisis is not economic, certainly. They also find their sources and especially in the political and social debate. But the theory of a better distribution of wealth discussed for more than fifty years no longer echoes in countries where famine every year. Leaving aside the hypocrisy of big and beautiful speech act fast and now. Because there’s nothing easier for a farmer to sow a seed.
A solution for Africa
Knowing that GM technology provides plants more resistant to disease, since it brings higher productivity, and knowing that it has a lower use of pesticides than are the current farming techniques, more more voices are heard to describe GMOs as a remedy against hunger in the world.
Although the causes of the food crisis are multiple consequences, they are dramatic in the short and medium term for present and future generations. Experts say the current food crisis is likely to continue in the world with greater sensitivity in the poorest countries. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic rise of food prices, driven by the globalization of the market economy on the one hand and the mismatch between population growth and low agricultural productivity of other hand, suggest tomorrows even more catastrophic if nothing is done now to start a real structural development of sustainable agriculture and the economy as a whole.
In the field of genetically modified plants, the benefit is not obvious for European consumers, because genetic engineering does for the moment, as the main application, that limit crop losses at a time when the Europe manages overproduction and surpluses. But this issue does not arise in the same terms in Africa, India or China and I do not share the opinion of those who reject any public research and argue, without proof, that GM will not bring any benefit to countries. The false debate on the amount of golden rice that must be ingested per day to compensate for deficiencies in vitamin may illustrate this hypocrisy.
“The solution for Africa to get out of the food crisis that will see millions of people starving for years is inevitably the adoption of GMOs urgently scale and appropriation of new technologies by scientists Africa. They will thus be able to master and apply them to the production of food for feeding the African people and not only to the production of cash crops for western industrial economies, “said Hortense Dodo, PhD in molecular biology from the Agricultural University of Alabama, specializing in biotechnology, position with the University of Abidjan for the deployment of a biotechnology program.
The food crisis in Africa could be done very quickly: “When considering the military budgets African added, if all this money was given to the scientists, the next three to five years, he would no longer one African who does not have enough to eat. But it must have the political will to do so. ”
For this example, It is believed that the development of biotechnology could help solve world food shortages. These will be needed tomorrow, both in agriculture and in the resolution of environmental problems.
In 1960, every person on earth had 0.45 hectares per person for food production. This rate will be more than 0.2 hectares in 2020. If arable land decreases, it will require more fertilizer, which means more energy consumption and releases of greenhouse gas emissions. We now know that genetically modified plants are more efficient attachment of these fertilizers. When we know that at least 30% of the fertilizer applied is not fixed by plants and contribute to the pollution of groundwater and possibly coastal waters can possibly think that these techniques will one day needed our agriculture.
It is believed that GMOs are needed in the field of production of energy, but also in resistance to drought, saline soil culture or improving nutritional qualities of food .
From these data, the real questions to ask are the following. Is the product produced by a genetically modified plant is toxic? Genetically modified plants do they have an irreversible impact on the environment? The development of genetically modified plants do they affect agriculture and they promote the economic dominance of some large international groups?
Consequences for the environment should be assessed and of course experienced before authorization culture. If a product of a genetically modified plant is harmful to health, it is clear that we must ban it, whatever the threshold, if it is not, there is no reason to prohibit its production if at the same time allows the import of this product.
So, it is necessary to quickly and calmly discuss the question of the usefulness of GMOs to cope with food shortages. Rapid population growth, declining acreage and weather conditions in the coming years makes me fear the worst for all those areas that continue to combine the problems of under nutrition and malnutrition. To exceed our current and sterile quarrels so that two clans clash of ideology, we need more science, more expertise and more support for a strong scientific research.