Genetically modified organisms or GMOs are an exciting and valuable development for those who understand the increased efficiency they offer for food production. As the population steadily rises, resources are dwindling. Currently, there are 821 million people who are chronically malnourished and ninety-eight percent of them live in a developing country. To ensure food is available to everyone, local agricultural production in developing countries must increase. Relying exclusively on exported goods has led to this problem. While nearly thirteen percent of people remain undernourished even though the current output of the worldr’s farms could supply over 11 billion people with 2,000 calories per day (Gerry). If provided genetically modified seeds, each family could grow their own food. GMOs could be helpful in stabilizing the hunger crisis in developing countries. Genetically modified crops could be engineered to grow in even the aridest of climates. A cost-efficient reliable food source would allow families to spend money on other necessities like water, housing or healthcare. This boost in resources would not only help diminish world hunger, over time it would increase the economy and consumerism as well.
The problem of world hunger will only increase. The human population is growing more rapidly than was initially thought. Recently the UN published their latest calculations which project the worldr’s population to be 9.3 billion in 2050”400 million more than previously estimated (Herrera). To accommodate for this shift in population, seventy percent more food needs to be produced by 2050. Even the most propitious projections of population growth predict potential mass tragedy if we do not increase our crop yield and production. To prevent famine food production and distribution must change. The increased yield of GM crops offer could prevent the oncoming famine if implemented immediately. With the world already facing a high percentage of people going hungry, action must be taken now to ensure the malnourished population does not increase. Part of the reason the population is increasing is the high mortality rate in the developing world. The average family in the developing world has five to six kids but only two or three of them will live to see adulthood. This is because of poor living conditions and a lack of clean water and food. With genetically modified crops early mortality rate would decrease. Having clean food that requires less water would allow more children to live to adulthood and lower the number of children people had. This would help to stabilize the population and decrease food shortage.
Genetically modified crops require less water. Although the technology is in early development, it could be very promising in the future. Scientists at the University of Illinois are trying to modify the amount to which a plant’s stomata opens. The stomata, also known as the pores of a plant are open during photosynthesis to intake carbon dioxide. During this process the plant loses water through the stomata, genetically modifying the amount to which it can open would reduce the plant’s water consumption. Katarzyna Glowacka, the leading scientist on the experiment was able to develop a tobacco plant that needed twenty-five percent less water. This genetic adjustment has the potential to conserve one of humanityr’s most valuable resources. Implementing Glowakackar’s genetic engineering of the stomata could reduce the amount of water necessary to grow crops.
If this technology was used to grow grain, the global water crisis would start to subside. 844 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water. This issue is not just present in developing countries, it has impacted many first world countries as well. Americar’s own Flint Michigan has been without clean water since 2014 because of industrial runoff into the townr’s river. If communities near Flint switched to genetically modified crops, the extra water could have been imported to help the people there through the water shortage. If this was applied globally, excess water could be delivered to places that had a shortage of water. This system would not rely on exporting water from one country to the next, instead it would use local resources and keep communities independent.
For people living in privileged countries, GMOs are perceived as a dangerous new form of biotechnology. First world consumers see no immediate benefit from GMOs, whether it be lower prices or increased nutritional value. None of this is necessary for people who already have access to an abundance of nutritional food. The new technologyr’s apparent lack of benefit leads consumers to believe it reckless and unsafe. Even though scientists say they are as safe as any other food. As the first world continues to fight the worldwide spread of GM crops, millions of people are dying of starvation.
Although they are well-intentioned, critics of GMOs are preventing a technology that could increase the quality of life for people living in the Southern Hemisphere. Genetically modified crops will not always be unnecessary for the first world. Eventually, overpopulation will cause food shortage to become a global problem and those in the first world will be forced to integrate GMOs in their diet. GMOs are already present in many foods and medicines used in America and Europe. Prior to GMOs many products were extremely expensive to make. Before the development of genetic engineering insulin was extracted from the pancreas of cows or pigs and then sterilized for human use. GMO insulin is less expensive to produce and is activated faster in a diabeticr’s blood stream. The insulin also has a smaller chance of being rejected since it is similar to the insulin a human pancreas would produce. The modified version of insulin has been widely in use since 1980.
Genetic engineering technology could benefit those least advantaged across the world. The hunger and water crises are worsening, and decisive action is required to prevent catastrophe. GMOs could provide a stable source of food for people in the developing world and over time their economy would improve as a result. If genetic engineers were able to provide more nutritional and resilient seeds to citizens of the developing world they would have an increased standard of living. Genetically modified plants require less water which allows water to be used for drinking and bathing. While many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of genetic engineering, it offers a solution to many of the worldr’s largest problems. These problems do not seem to be improving without intervention, they become more serious every year. Genetically modified crops have the potential to lower the number of deaths caused by starvation and dehydration. Developing countries would see the greatest benefit from genetic engineering technology.
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