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Genetically Modified Crops Should be embraced by The World

In an age where the population of the world is rapidly expanding which weather conditions and natural phenomenon get more extreme, the world cannot afford to NOT switch to genetically modified crops

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    Mar 11 2011: There was another topic about doing genetic enhancements on humans...

    My position on GMOs* is basically the same - they should only be done to the kinds of plants for which the genome is fully explored, and the consequences of any changes are at least theoretically known. And that's not the case yet. We don't fully know any plant yet. Scientists are trying out enhancements with the public as guinee pigs.

    Despite that, GMOs are legal in some countries. Statistics show coutries with GMOs have hugely increased rates of certain diseases which have started increasing since the introduction of GMOs in said countries... I don't have the exact stats right now (saw it on the news a while back), but it does raise a reasonable concern.

    *GMO - any organism (plant) with genetic modifications, regardless of the intented enhancement, including size, pest resistance, climate tolerance and more.
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      Mar 12 2011: That was my topic I believe. GM crops is another one of those subjects I find really interesting, but sadly it's also one of those subjects on which people hold deep-seated positions without having really thought about the issue. I recently had a case study in class that showed how proteomics could be used to see how certain proteins are differentially expressed in GM crops to screen for risks related to allergies.

      I'm in favor of GM crops, but I think in my mind the question has really shifted from "Are GM crops safe?" to "Are GM crops necessary?". I think in that respect I agree with Harald that if a part of the world go hungry today it's more a case of poor logistics than the availability of food. We have more than enough to feed the world, we just don't have the right distribution strategy. Still, I encourage ongoing research and condemn those who destroy GM plantations out of disgust for them.
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        Mar 12 2011: I think both questions have to be asked and continue to be unanswered (at least in my mind).
        1) are they safe ? We, the people on the street, don't know enough about it. The knowledge is with a few large companies, that are not very forthcoming in sharing the information.
        2) are they necessary ? Perhaps at some point in the future, once we have exhausted all other possibilities. Today, I think, this is not the case. We still have a lot to improve in food distribution as well as in our agricultural practices (going away from mono cultures for example)
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    Mar 11 2011: I think this is a very simplistic statement. The truth is however, that the issue is far more complex.
    1) If you say GMO, what do you mean ? bigger ? more pest resistant ? herbicide resistant ? increased climate tolerance ?
    2) why do you think that GMOs are the solution to the world's hunger problems ? A huge part of the hunger problem is related to poor logistics. Maybe agricultural practices could be enhanced in a way that yield increases without GMOs.
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    Mar 16 2011: This is a good topic and it becomes very complex and difficult to answer when you explore all the issues. Genetically modified organisms and specifically GM crops offer a great potential to feed our growing population. The fact is, nature is slow and plant crop growth are not keeping up with our increasing populaiton. Designing a crop that can grow faster, tolerate high salinity and resist pests can increase yields drastically and to be honest, even if you don't like the idea of GMO's you'll have to make a choice when the population is so high that you either choose eating GE crops or starvation. Beggers can't be choosers.

    Despite the beneficial aspects it provides, I really, and I mean really, despise what corporations do with GE products. The whole gene patenting thing that monsanto does is claim an organism as YOUR product and that if a GE seed blows on another persons crop than that person has to pay monsanto for using that GE plant. So since gene patenting occurs in plants when is it going to occur in mammals?

    Another issue is....PEOPLE DON't TEST ENOUGH for example the whole GE alfalfa issue that is currently happening with Monsanto.

    But yes, I agree that another green revolution is needed and that we should combine organic farming practices with GE products. ....Yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron but bear with me. Agricultural practices have a huge impact on our land and one big reason is due to all the pesticides, fertilizers and herbicide we add. If we could adopt organic practices (don't use pesticide, fertilizer etc) to industrial practices WITH the use of GE crops than we would be one step closer to a sustainable future.
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    Mar 13 2011: Actually, the genetically modified crops have less genetic variance. This means that in a shifting biosphere the crops are less able to adapt and may lead to crop failure and global supply crisis.