gmos in AfricaScientists created the first genetically modified organism or GMO in 1973, and the FDA approved a GMO product for the first time in 1982. GMOs are crops that have undergone genetic alternation for a specific purpose, such as weather, pest or weed resistance. Such traits can produce larger quantities of crops and make them resilient in different climates.

However, GMOs raise concern for many people, countries and organizations. While they are commonplace in the U.S., Europe largely avoids GMOs. Proponents of GMOs claim that they can help end global hunger, but opponents claim that they will damage both the planet and human health.

In Africa, GMOs are beginning to become a part of modern agriculture, but as of now, only in small ways. As of 2019, just five of Africa’s 47 countries allowed GMO crops to be grown: South Africa, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Egypt and Nigeria. Larger GMO initiatives in Africa could help feed the continent, but resistance to GMOs is large enough that Africa is beginning to use them only slowly and cautiously.

Pros of GMOs in Africa

Pests called stem borers are responsible for a loss of 400,000 tons of maize in Kenya yearly, or about 14% of total maize. Genetically modified maize called Bt maize can make maize crops more resilient to stem borers. Researcher Hugo de Groote says Bt maize will help small farmers in particular because pests affect them the most.

“The major surprise was that, contrary to the usual claims, Bt maize is very likely to benefit poor farmers and small seed companies,” De Groote reported to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.

As of 2020, Kenya is near accepting domestic production of Bt maize. The country is also seriously considering allowing GMO imports, which would aid the nearly 1.5 million Kenyans facing acute hunger. However, experts say that in order for Kenyans to benefit from GMO crops long term, they need to start growing them on their own soil.

Many African countries struggle with drought, crop diseases and pests that cause low crop yields. Some GMOs exist to help with these problems, and they could become a part of Africa’s agricultural future. For example, following in Nigeria’s footsteps, Ghana is considering approving the commercialization of some pest-resistant GMO crops including Bt cotton.

Cons of GMOs in Africa

Hesitation to adopt GMOs in Africa stems from concerns for food safety, ethics, environmental risks, loss of biodiversity and lack of regulations. Furthermore, Africa exports a large number of agricultural goods to European nations, and many European consumers prefer to avoid GMOs. Because of this, the majority of African trading partners stick to traditional crop varieties.

GMOs are still a relatively new concept. They may create a risk of long-term environmental damage such as infertile land, biodiversity loss and new GMO-resistant pests. Furthermore, there is some evidence that GMOs can cause cancer and allergies. The American Cancer Society has not found convincing evidence of GMO-caused cancer, but it cautions that more research is necessary.

There are reasons both to support and to suspect GMOs in Africa and across the globe. More research will continue to unveil their benefits and consequences in Africa.

Sarah Eichstadt
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

genetically modified seedsMany countries in Central and South America are home to strong agricultural economies. Since the 1990s, the growing use of genetically modified seeds has challenged traditional forms of agriculture. Companies such as DuPont, Syngenta and Bater sent these seeds to Latin America. Since this introduction, Latin American agribusiness has become largely dependent on genetically modified seeds. Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay are home to roughly 120 million acres of genetically modified crops. Promises of greater yields and less work fuel this upsurge. To understand the effects of genetically modified seeds and how farmers are gaining support, The Borgen Project spoke to Aimee Code, the pesticide program director at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Seeds Endanger Farmers’ Prosperity

Two key factors explain the effect of genetically modified seeds on poverty. The first is dependence. Code explains that “many GMO seeds are intrinsically linked with pesticide use.” Code explains further that pesticide dependence can be dangerous as “this traps farmers in a cycle of needing the pesticides and needing these seeds… it becomes more and more expensive and uncomfortable.”

The difference between this cycle of seed use and traditional methods is stark as genetically modified seeds require the user to buy new seeds each year rather than harvesting and using older seeds from past harvests as is traditional. Farmers are unable to reuse genetically modified seeds and plants because they do not own them; the seeds belong to the company that sells them.

Not only do crops themselves threaten farmers’ prosperity, but the system of genetically modified agriculture also fuels poverty. With the introduction of genetically modified seeds came the promotion of farm consolidation, meaning that fewer farmers are necessary. As a result of this farm consolidation, around 200,000 agricultural producers in South America “have lost their livelihoods” in the last two decades.

Seeds Endanger Farmers’ Health

“The amount of data is woefully inadequate on the health effects experienced by these farmers out in the fields,” shares Code on the issue of health in Latin America. However, even ordinary individuals can draw conclusions just from the nature of these practices. The link between genetically modified seeds and health is best explained by the pesticide use required for these crops.

Because farmers must store pesticides in the crops’ area, the pesticides constantly endanger people living around farms. To highlight the commonality of these exposures, Code reflects on her experience working in Honduras. She says, “A young man offered me water to drink out of an old pesticide bottle.” She explains the link to poor health by concluding that “these are exposures that shouldn’t be happening.”

Along with pesticides sprayed on crops, Code explains that “the seeds are often coated with pesticides, making the seeds themselves dangerous depending on the handling practices.” Unfortunately, many farmers cannot access ample personal protective equipment to protect themselves from dangerous chemicals.

Exposure to the seeds and pesticides is grave as long-term effects can include respiratory problems, memory disorders, skin conditions, depression, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. In the short term, these pesticides can result in nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, anxiety and cognitive harm.

Solving the Problem

The effects of genetically modified seeds remain prominent in the lives of many Latin Americans. However, ongoing solutions aim to mitigate the effects. Code explains that the two most important ways to reduce the spread of genetically modified seeds and crops are education and regulation. As the pesticide program director for the Xerces Society, she works with farmers to implement more sustainable practices.

The Xerces Society is not the only organization working to spread awareness of the value of non-GMO crops. Civil society and social movements throughout Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras and Guatemala have mobilized people to protect seeds and the heritage of agricultural practices. These movements are vital for boosting confidence in traditional practices, challenging narratives created by genetically modified seed companies.

Governments from across Latin America have also stepped up to help reduce the use of these seeds. Countries such as Guatemala and Ecuador have implemented full and partial bans on genetically modified seeds. Most recently, Mexico passed legislation to ban the use of transgenic corn and phase out glyphosate by 2024. These mark positive steps as government regulation can stop the trend of high-risk genetically modified seeds that have trapped many farmers. Such legislation will protect food sovereignty and the health of farmers in Mexico.

More legislative measures and actions are required to eliminate the effects of genetically modified seeds in Latin America. However, recent years have seen immense progress in efforts to reduce the seeds’ prevalence through policy action and awareness.

– Haylee Ann Ramsey-Code
Photo: Flickr

GM golden riceRice is a staple crop in Asia that provides 30-72% of the energy intake in the region. Many children in these countries rely on meager amounts of rice and almost nothing else. Enter genetically modified (GM) rice. GM golden rice is a revolutionary modified rice crop, characterized by its golden color and vitamin A fortification. This biofortified crop works to alleviate the issue of malnutrition in Asia, especially among children.

Vitamin A

In Bangladesh, China, India and elsewhere in Asia, there is a vitamin A deficiency problem. Annually, vitamin A deficiency results in the death of several million children and blindness in 250,000, according to a study done by WHO. Half of these children die within 12 months of losing their sight.

GM golden rice allows for beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor) synthesis in the edible portion of rice. This process may prove to be a promising remedy to this widespread vitamin deficiency. The body can actually use beta-carotene in the edible portion of rice, rather than the rice’s leaves. Not only is it usable, but it can supply 30% to 50% of a person’s daily vitamin A requirement.

Other Benefits

Besides the nutritional benefit, GM golden rice also lasts longer than its non-GM counterparts. A Purdue University researcher found that some GM foods have an increased shelf life by a week longer than it would have originally. Foods that can stay fresher longer help impoverished regions store food and aid food distribution across long periods of time.  

Furthermore, modified foods, like GM golden rice, are routinely screened for safety. Simon Barber, director of the Plant Biotechnology Unit at EuropaBio, the European biotech industry association, stated that before anything may be imported into Europe and used as animal feed or as an ingredient in food for humans, it had to travel through a security approval process.

In addition, the two genes inserted into GM golden rice, plant phytoene synthase and bacterial phytoene desaturase, are innocuous to the human body. Further, Dr. Russesll Reinke, IRR Program Lead for Healthier Rice,  stated that test trials in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. found this rice to be safe for consumption.

Conclusion

As technology rapidly evolves, people will have reservations about the unfamiliar processes involved. However, GM golden rice has continued to be a proven and effective supplement for adequate nutrition. With new technological solutions, like GM golden rice, food shortages can continue to decrease.

Justin Chan
Photo: Flickr

biotech in kenya
Kenya is one of the most food-insecure countries in the African region, where 14.5 million people suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition. One in three Kenyans suffers from illness due to malnutrition. However, food and textiles engineered with biotechnology prove promising for the agricultural industry. These Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) bode well for future Kenyan prosperity. Here are some of the factors that support biotech in Kenya.

Food Insecurity and Poverty

Indicators of poverty in Kenya include high rates of infant mortality, tuberculosis and low rates of literacy. Kenya is ranked 55 out of 195 countries on the Global Health Security Index and almost half of the population live in absolute poverty making an average wage of less than $1.90 per day. Though this nation is dependent on agriculture, with 79% of the population relying on food and crop production, farming does not produce an easily livable salary. In contrast, many of the crops produced in Kenya are exported to other countries. Around 72% of consumer products are imported from surrounding areas. Kenya’s poorest demographic has an average of four to six children per household. The country experiences a continued increase in population because of a lack of affordable healthcare and education.

Much of the poverty is due to the corrupt nature of Kenya’s government. A large majority of public officials and officers accept bribes in order to consolidate power. According to Transparency International, Kenya is one of the most corrupt nations in the sovereign world. Public surveys state that 45% of public service users offered bribes (in turn accepted) in the past year. In 2019, 67% of people observed an increase in government corruption, placing Kenya in the top 45 most corrupt countries on Earth.

Upon President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election into office, he proposed a plan to replace the Kenya Vision 2030 goal to eradicate poverty with the Big Four. President Kenyatta plans to ensure food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all through a budget proposal that prioritizes public infrastructure. Kenyatta intends to achieve these goals by 2022. Still, environmental challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic have threatened the food production industry and government capability to prioritize these goals.

New Industries, New Hope

Kenyan farmers are slow to embrace GMOs and biotech due to cancer concerns and suggested links between disease and ingestion of “unnatural products.” However, the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture’s updated research suggests that there are no significant links between genetically modified crops and cancer. Local biotech research claims the adoption of these processes and materials will aid the eradication of bollworms in cotton plants. They are hopeful for the reduction of hunger in the nation. With the adoption of biotech crop management, Kenya is one of the first East African nations to implement majority transgenic cotton farming.

In 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture approved the use of “Bt Cotton,” a specially engineered breed of cotton that naturally drives away destructive caterpillar breeds without the additional use of pesticides. The Standard defines this type of GMO production stating, “Popularly known as agritech, biotechnology is the practice of using scientific techniques and tools such as genetic engineering to change and improve plant and animal productivity.” Crops like cotton are one of the widest used in the textile industry and compromise more than 21% of Kenya’s export economy. With more than 69% of Kenya’s economy dependent upon the export of tea and cut flowers to bordering nations, reduction of “lost product” due to pests and other factors is necessary to protect these industries and ensure future growth.

GMOs produce the ideal shape and size of crops. They simultaneously maintain the preferred growth rate with the ability to ward off pests and other diseases. With these modifications, farmers can expect higher yields of crops and less water usage due to drought-resistant biotechnologically modified seeds.

Cassava in Kenya

Cassava is one of the main food groups in the coastal regions of Kenya. The population consumes it largely as a calorie-dense and nutrient-rich root. Bt Cassava is undergoing trials to determine the crop’s resistance to brown streak disease and cassava mosaic disease. Professor Miano of the Virca Plus Project asserted that farmers lose up to 70% of crops due to these problems. Bt Cassava awaits approval from the Ministry of Agriculture during the assessment of sustainability and safety. Former trials seem promising as Professor Miano quotes, “…I can confirm that it is good, highly resistant to the diseases and its nutritional composition has not been affected in any way.” If Bt Cassava manufacturing continues such promising results, the strain of food security could become a memory for Kenyans.

Economic Growth

Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product is stagnant at less than 5% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing the lowest economic growth in three years. Slowed tourism and accommodation services are to blame for decreased economic expansion. Nonetheless, biotechnical engineering is one of the most promising innovations for the expanding population. Food often contains vitamins and other nutritional benefits to improve malnourished communities. Crops engineered with biotechnology are increasingly more affordable for Kenyan farmers. With an adoption rate of more than 11%, the previously decaying textile industry is sure to observe a boost soon.

Modified crops will reduce the need for imports. Increased product yields due to biotech in Kenya will save farmers time from mundane tasks like weeding. Without the cost of pesticides, farmers can expect an increase in production and reap the benefits of saved labor. A transition towards biotechnology in food production will make Kenya one of the leading nations in agricultural production. The conversation about biotech in Kenya could result in extreme poverty reduction and a more sustainable, healthy future for the population.

– Natalie Williams
Photo: Pixabay

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable AgricultureThe Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is a huge non-profit organization established in Switzerland by the company Syngenta, a multinational chemical and agriculture business. Founded in Switzerland in 1999, Syngenta was acquired by the government-owned Chinese company ChemChina in 2017 for $43 billion, which is reported to be the largest corporate acquisition by China to date. To some, this may sound like e a conflict of interest, all for optics and profit. However, with backers such as the United Nations, several governments and charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture has legitimate support.

What the SFSA Does

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture helps small farmers across the developing world on many fronts. It offers insurance programs for small farmers with affordable premiums to help them if the weather turns foul or their livestock gets sick. This is an enticing and helpful deal for farmers, especially in areas where the weather can be inconsistent. The SFSA also helps farmers plant crops that are more likely to weather the storms and produce a higher quality product at a higher yield.

To take full advantage of their new product, the SFSA teaches marketing and other business strategies to their farmer partners. With a surplus of crops, these farmers can now make a profit whereas before they barely made a living. One of their partners is Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh. Normally, Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh specializes in capital gains, but they also have a social outreach program that focuses on improving working conditions, pay and other social policies including improving nutrition in Bangladesh.

Failure and Success

In the United States, specifically in the State of Kansas, the Syngenta had a rocky start. In 2011, Syngenta introduced GMO corn seeds to Kansas farms before it had the approval to trade with China. This oversight closed off an entire market to these corn growers and processors, causing the price of corn to drop and resulting in the loss of profits. A class-action lawsuit followed. In 2018, a Kansas federal judge ordered Syngenta to create a fund to pay $1.5 billion in damages to companies and farmers in the corn business.

Since 2014, Syngenta and the United Nations have been working together in Bangladesh. This program was initiated to educate farmers on better farming techniques and to get their opinion and input about the issues they face. To do this, the SFSA held townhall-style meetings where they met and listened to these farmers. Since the SFSA started working in Bangladesh in 2001, 30 of their farming hubs have been created. Farmers who have participated have seen a 30 percent increase in productivity per acre and a 34 percent increase in household income.

Though it may have had a rocky start, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture has since proven itself to be an asset to a farmer around the world. Looking at joint projects with other organizations around the world, it is easy to see a lot of benefits. It is providing humanitarian aid around the world in the form of agricultural aid and education. Increasing sustainable agriculture and crop yields will go a long way to helping alleviate poverty around the world.

Nicholas Anthony DeMarco
Photo: Flickr


Brazil approved a new sugarcane genetically engineered to resist the most devastating plague in the country. The major sugar exporter is the first to approve commercial use of genetically modified (GM) sugarcane. The developer CTC created the cane with the commonly-used gene Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). This allows the sugarcane to resist the insect Diatraea saccharides, which causes an annual loss of $1.52 billion to sugar producers.

Since most agriculture-based countries are in the developing world, insect-resistant crops such as Brazil’s new sugarcane can be especially helpful to poor farmers. Brazil will be the first to start utilizing the new sugarcane, but many other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are already at work throughout developing nations.

While they remain a controversial topic in the U.S., GMOs like Brazil’s new sugarcane help feed the world’s poor.

Scientists, like the developers at CTC, possess the ability to engineer crops that solve manifold problems in developing countries. One example is Bangladesh’s Bt Eggplant, which resists a fruit and shoots borer pest. The eggplant’s genetic resistance decreases pesticide use and required labor while increasing crop yield, crop size and farmer profits.

Bangladeshi farmer Md. Milon Mia reported that pests used to ruin up to 40 percent of his crop yield before using Bt Eggplant. The GM eggplant now helps Bangladesh’s largely rural population, as the country climbs out of its position as one of the poorest in the world.

In a “Letter to the Editor” of The New York Times, a farmer from a village in India details his similar experience with GMOs. Like the farmers in Brazil and Bangladesh, Sudhindra Kulkarni uses a GMO designed to resist pests. With this GM cotton, his yields have increased four times, his crops have been healthier and his farm has been more sustainable.

Before the transgenic crop, bollworm pests were so damaging that he thought he “would barely scrape by.” But now, GM cotton has “transformed” the lives of his family. The impoverished Indian population has been cut in half in the past two decades, and developments such as GM farming are key to this progress.

Two billion people across the globe face food insecurity. 896 million people live on less than $2 a day. But GMOs like Brazil’s new sugarcane can improve this situation through the creation of more resilient crops.

With modern technologies, scientists can engineer crops that require less labor, cost less to produce and yield more product. With continued support for these lifesaving inventions, biologists can continue to develop solutions for the developing world.

Bret Serbin

Photo: Flickr

End World Hunger GMOs
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals whose genetic codes have been altered by the insertion of genes from a different plant or animal in order to gain advantageous traits. Plants can be modified, for example, to better resist disease, pests and drought.

GMOs undergo rigorous testing (a period ranging from five to eight years) conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to make sure the genetically modified food is safe for human consumption. Currently, there is no legislation requiring food packagers to label the genetically modified food that sits on supermarket shelves.

AgriLife Research at Texas A & M investigated the introduction of spinach proteins into citrus trees to help protect them against citrus greening, a disease responsible for millions of dollars in citrus crop losses annually. The spinach protein-infused citrus trees were less susceptible to citrus greening compared to normal citrus trees, allowing a larger crop to be harvested for consumption.

 

GMOs Tackle World Hunger

 

With the success of many GMO projects, research is being done to determine how this technology can be used to address the issue of world hunger. Modified crops that can benefit developing countries include C4 Rice, which is being funded by the Gates Foundation. Rice naturally photosynthesizes through the C3 pathway, which is less efficient than the C4 pathway utilized primarily by grass crops such as maize and sugarcane. Converting the cellular structure of rice from C3 to C4 will allow the crop to support more people than is currently possible. While a single hectare of land in Asia produces enough rice to feed 27 people, the International Rice Research Institute has estimated that by 2050, that same hectare will need to produce enough rice to feed 43 people, a problem that genetically modified C4 rice may be able to address.

Since rice provides one-fifth of the calories consumed by people worldwide, more efficient rice crops have the potential to combat world hunger related to population growth.  Other projects, such as editing and deleting genetic information in crops using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, are making headway in an effort to produce crops that are less reliant on chemical pesticides and more adaptable to inhospitable growing conditions.

GMOs have the potential to help solve food production issues in the future, making a dent in the fight against global poverty. Yet it is important to recognize the reality of and work to address the downsides, as the introduction of GMO crops (large, industrialized yields) to a country’s economy could change local farming practices (smaller, local yields), may dominate their food markets, can harm the environment through the required pesticides and can result in large-scale monocultures.

– Bayley McComb

Photo: Flickr

genetically_modified_mosquitoes
Scientists have genetically modified mosquitoes in an effort to combat the spread of malaria globally. This technological advancement could substantially reduce the transmission of malaria which continues to have devasting impacts especially in developing countries.

Malaria Facts

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • In 2015, there were 214 million malaria cases across the globe and approximately 438,000 deaths.
  • Sub-Saharan African countries, such as Chad, Sudan, and Angola, are the most at risk for contracting malaria and 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur in these areas.
  • Children are one of the most high-risk groups – 482,000 children under the age of five died from malaria in 2012 alone.

Researchers affiliated with Imperial College London will seek to genetically modify Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito species most responsible for malaria transmission. Using a technology called “gene drive,” the researchers will use a modified gene to “disrupt” the egg production in female mosquitoes, making them sexually unable to reproduce.

However, some mosquitoes will simply become carriers of the modified gene. The gene will then be passed down “at an accelerated rate to offspring,” slowly discontinuing the spread of malaria throughout the population over time.genetically_modified_mosquitoes

In order to test the gene drive, the team identified three genes that were important in female fertility. After diagnosing those genes, they altered them, resulting in an adjustment that “disrupted the activity.”

The genes were modified with the CRISPR/Cas9 endonuclease, a special type of tool that is able to cut designated parts of the genetic code. Having the enabled ability to cut DNA at an exact location, researchers could then mutate them, rendering female mosquitoes infertile.

The researchers are optimistic that the spread could not only drastically reduce the number of malaria cases, but, in three years’ time, local populations of malaria-carrying mosquitoes could be eliminated.

“If successful, this technology has the potential to substantially reduce the transmission of malaria,” said co-author Andrea Crisanti from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial.

The technique, although only targeting the Anopheles gambiae, could be tested on other mosquito species as well. The team did target other species while conducting their research; however, they decided to focus their efforts on Anopheles gambaie. Their range of testing proves that their “gene drive” is flexible and can be applied to a range of varied genes.

However, it will still be a substantial amount of time before the gene-altered mosquitoes will be ready. Professor Austin Burt from Imperial’s Department of Life Sciences told The Economic Times that he expects it will be “at least 10 more years before gene drive malaria mosquitoes could be a working intervention”.

Naturally, there is more work that needs to be accomplished before genetically modified mosquitoes can be introduced. Safety assessments and extensive reports must be generated before field trials can take place. However, the futuristic technology is encouraging and could dramatically alter the spread of malaria, as well as change the way scientists will attack other diseases.

Alyson Atondo

Sources: WHO 1, WHO 2, IFLScience, India
Picture: Flickr1, Flickr2

GMOs

“Genetically modified organism,” or GMO, is a popular term rampant in mainstream Western food culture. Being critiqued for being unhealthy and harmful to the human body, GMOs have gotten a bad reputation.

Many companies like Chipotle, 365 (Whole Foods store brand) products, and Annie’s products pride themselves in earning a non-GMO sticker from the Non-GMO Project, certifying that they have gone through the motions to avoid GMOs in their food.

However, although sometimes controversial in Western culture, GMOs are transforming the agriculture platform all over Africa. GMOs serve as an efficient tool to use when farming.

In all forms of farming, GMOs serve as a way to curb diseases from reaching crops and increase the number of crops grown. An organism developed in laboratories helps poor farmers to not only be efficient but to earn more money for their families.

However, putting the economic advantages of farming with GMOs aside, many are against GMOs because of the potential health problems they present for the human body.

Due to obesity, a lack of government oversight and harm to the environment, many are against the integration of GMOs in agriculture. Others have also accused those who have patented GMOs (like Monsanto) of only pushing them forward so they can make a profit.

A positive is that it helps to defend crops who are potential candidates for diseases. According to AAAS, GMOs “pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques.” But many, like the Non-GMO Project and Responsible Technology, suggest otherwise.

According to some, the use of GMOs can put money into the pockets of poor farmers, which, in turn, helps to eliminate extreme poverty. Their ability to provide food for those in their region would also help people who are not farmers. They would be able to provide food at a lesser cost.

However, should the overall health of people be sacrificed so they can eat consistently? Is the push for GMOs to be used really for the benefit of the poor farmers or the companies who have patents on them?

Perhaps GMOs should be used until those in extreme poverty have the ability to purchase crops that are less damaging to their long term health.

The debate over the use of GMOs on those in extreme poverty will continue to develop.

– Erin Logan

Sources: The Guardian, Non-GMO Project, AAAS, Huffington Post, UC Berkley, Responsible Technology,
Photo: The Guardian