Fighting Hunger With Science


According to The United Nations Children’s Fund, one person dies of starvation every 3.6 seconds. Genetically modified food can help stop starvation in third world countries and here in the United States due to their ability to produce more, grow in places that do not normally suit agriculture, and have special nutritional qualities.

The FDA defines genetically modified organisms, more commonly known as GMOs, as organisms that have been introduced to new traits or characteristics by means of genetic engineering.

Enjoy this funny video on defining GMOs:

Farmers have been performing gene selection for hundreds of years to increase crop potential.  Now, cutting-edge technology called genetic
engineering can be used to produce superior crops. Genetic engineering began in the 1990’s and is currently monitored and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. GMOs hold many new and exciting opportunities in the world of agriculture.

Genetic modification is technique farmers can use that produces consistent end results. One study conducted by independent companies came to the conclusion that, on average, genetically engineered crops have increased genetically-modified-crops-and-food-securityscientific-facts-3-638yields at or above 22%. These studies have shown that use of GMO varieties of cotton and corn in developing countries increased the yield per
acre by more than 50%. GMOs have also contributed significantly to the doubling of soybean production.  The increased crop production provides more food to feed the world.

With specific genetic modifications, GMO crops can be protected from certain pests.  For example, rootworms that feast on the roots of corn can no longer wreak havoc, nor harm or kill the plant.  This gives farmers the ability to harvest more products.  These crops can also prevent yield losses allowing the plant to approach its yield potential.  With the population projected to double by 2050, this is one step in the right direction to help meet the growing demand for food.

Learn more pros and cons of GMOs:

With the population increasing there is a decrease in the amount of land available for agricultural production.  Genetically modified crops can allow for growth in places that are considered non arable and useless. These areas may not have ample water or proper soil conditions.  For example, scientists have developed a new tomato plant that is salt resistant.  These crops can produce food in unfavorable conditions which is crucial in fighting against world hunger.

GMO foods can help provide unique nutritional benefits. Rice, a major food in many different countries, does not naturally contain beta-carotene, GoldenRiceotherwise known as Vitamin A. In more recent years, scientists have created a bio-fortified rice variety through recombinant technologies also known as “Golden Rice.”  Due to its higher beta-carotene content, this rice is a propitious development in the battle to reduce malnutrition in third-world countries.

Although, there is much controversy over GMOs today, they are a necessary step to ensure food security now and in the future.  Many people believe that these organisms are not safe to consume, yet hundreds of studies have proven otherwise.  With the help of genetically modified
organisms, food will be able to have higher yields, better growing abilities, and new nutritional advantages to help provide meals for everyone.

See for more information about GMOs. If you would really like to get more into the GMO controversy please watch this video. 

Written by: Ashton Duncan, Leah Jenkins,Tess Seibel

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