Humanity's Survival; GM Food

by elslychen on September 21, 2013 - 1:02am

As the world's population had increased enormously since these past decades and it won't stop increasing, natural resources will, at a certain time, reach its limit. There are countless problems, like global warming, air pollution, food shortage, starvation, water scarcity, which are important and urgent issues that we must solve in order for the humanity to survive. Everyone knows that those problems are curently happening all over the world, but almost none could think of a good global solution that can stop these issues. As being part of the humanity, I feel guilty about the vulnerable state of our planet and feel responsible to protect it. This has brought me to an article called "Genetically modified crops are the key to human survival, says UK's chief scientist". This article basically says that genetically modified food is the future solution to maintain our existence.

However, the topic of genetically modified food had created debates and one of the main questions that is raised is: Should biotechnological techniques be included in global food production?

In my opinion, I think that we should really label genetically modified crops in the future. Now, many of you may ask why do I have this position. As shown in the article, the population will get to 9,000 millions by 2050. This fact will cause people to live in cities which will lead to less and less people to get involved in farming and raising animals. In addition, GM food production will save tropical forests from being cut down for harvest and will save a billion of people from food shortage and starvation. Pest-resistant food can be created by the use of biotechnological techniques in farming which can save up to 30% of food in the world. An expert in population biology, M. Beddington, suggests that " ... we can feed nine billion people sustainably, healthily and equitably. We can, but it will take many different approaches to crack the problem.". As long as the crops are tested and do not harm one's health, nor the environment, I don't see why we should not let bioscience to get involved in the food market.

On the other hand, environmentalists may argue that biotechnological techniques are western's technology and they should not be applied on the Third-World. People may think that GM food can cause diseases in long terms, as well as genetically modified food are "unnatural", therefore it is wrong to use genetic technology in the food industry.

After seeing both opposing arguments, are humanity's survival more important than individual's reasons on genetically modified crops?

Here is the link of the article: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jan/23/gm-foods-world-population-crisis

Comments

First of all, feeding the planet is not a huge concern. There is enough food to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal), per person, per day, according to the most recent estimate that I could find (FAO 2002, p.9). Furthermore, even if there wasn't enough food, buying from GM food companies will not solve the problem, buying from non-GM food companies will. Where there is demand, there will be supply. In other words, if we buy food from non-GM food companies, more companies like them will emerge, creating more food and more jobs for people in agriculture and farming. Second of all, GM food can be more detrimental but, obviously, if done right, it could be more beneficial than non-GM food. Personally, I would stick to non-GM food, but if you've done your research on the company you're planning on buying GM food from, go for it.

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