• Question: if we were to genetically modify food would it abolish famine or would it be harmful to the human race??

    Asked by LewLew_Greeny to Rosie, Kevin, Beccy on 20 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Rosie Fok

      Rosie Fok answered on 20 Jun 2017:

      Genetically modified crops or livestock may help make food production more efficient or more reliable, but abolishing famine takes political and social change too. There is enough food in the world for the global population, it just isn’t distributed in a way that prevents famine.

      Could genetically modified foods be harmful to the human race? The only scientifically correct answer to this is possibly. Hopefully not, because rigorous testing and research would be done, but it is not possible to mitigate against ever circumstance so there is always the possibilty that something new could lead to unintended harm.

    • Photo: Rebecca Corkill

      Rebecca Corkill answered on 21 Jun 2017:

      Genetically modified crops is an amazing area of research. It has the potential of making crops that are resistant to disease, insect pests and climate changes. Personally, I think they are safer and quicker than trying to find these traits wild crops and trying to traditionally breed the crops. This is because, in traditional breeding, you have no idea what other genes (which may be harmful to the plant) are being crossed over. Whereas in genetically modified plants you know exactly what is being inserted.

      Will it abolish famine? Currently, no. There are many issues at the moment. One of them, is in the EU GMO are banned- so we cannot plant/ very rare to do trials. Also, if a crop is produced it is difficult to know if the farmer will take it on. At the moment there is not much trust in GMO. So more education is needed. In places like Africa, there is the issue that it is a small farming community. So you will need to get the seeds out there, and they need to be cheap.

      I doubt it will be harmful to the race. Just because of how much rigorous testing actually takes place before it even goes to trials- which is how it should be.

      Check out this TED talk so more information