Genetically Modified Food Crops? Developing Countries

1237 Words5 Pages
Genetically Modified Food Crops in Developing Countries Genetically modified (GM) crops are generaly food crops that have genetically engineered changes to their DNA, to create favorable traits in the plant that would not normally be possible through conventional horticulture. The main traits that have been genetically engineered into plants are herbicide tolerant (HT), insect resistant (IR), pH resistant, and drought resistance. The large majority of studies have been conducted on herbicide tolerant and insect resistant GM foods, due to the fact that 99% of the worlds GM crops today are HT or IR crop technology (Qaim et al. 900). These GM traits can be beneficial to farmers in developing countries and have been thought to have a major…show more content…
Modern plant modification, or genetic modification, was first achieved in 1973 when Herbert Boyer and Stanly Cohen successfully recombined and replicated genetic material from two different spices (Barnett et al. 2). GM technology has since been commercialized and branched into many areas of use. By 2004, only 9 years after the commercialization of GM crops in the united states, GM crops were being grown on 81 million hectares in seventeen different countries with the support of 8 million farmers (Qaim, 1317). Since its creation in 1973 genetic modification has been used on a wide variety of species including plants, mammals, bacteria and insects. Genetically modifies plants have a wide verity of uses outside of food production including pharmaceuticals and environmental management (Diaz n.d.). The relative safety of genetically modified foods have been a controversial topic over the years and have lead to many policies and regulations levied on them all over the world. Benefits of GM Crops in Developing Countries The wide range of GM crops available have a variety of advantages that can monetarily benefit farmers in the developing world. Increased yield as a benefit to GM crops can denote to multiple reasons including: increased plant production, reduced crop loss is related to external factors like insects or disease, plants that can survive in harsher conditions, and extended growing season (Barnett
Open Document