Benefits of GM Food:

With an ever increasing global population, massive 3rd world hunger, and with an estimation that a child dies for every two seconds world wide from starvation; this does not even take into account the number of people who are mal and undernourished, there is a great promise in the use of this technology to benefit not only the farmers, but also societies worldwide.

Some opportunities to use GM foods for good is:

  • Creating plants better resistant to weeds, pest and other diseases; such as corn

    • corn is the most important and widely grown grain in the United States.
    • however, corn cannot reproduce without human aid.
    • corn is also vulnerable to many pests and diseases, and corn requires a lot of nutrients.
  • Bigger yields to create more efficient use of land, less uses of herbicides and other pesticides.
  • Foods with better texture, flavor and nutritional value.
  • Foods with a longer shelf life for easier shipping.
  • Finally, GM foods can create an essential sustainable way to feed the world.

Positive Environmental Impacts of GMO's:

Soil salinity has become a major problem in all agriculture especially in the San Joaquin Valley. This has made crops less able to grow and in some cases unable to grow at all. Notice the white soil, cause by excessive salt in the picture below.

Thus we need to research the possibility of using the genes of salt tolerant plants species (eg: mangrove) in our agricultural crops.

Example of such crop:

  • A gene from the grey mangrove, Avicennia marina, has been genetically implanted into a tobacco plant, making it able to tolerate salt stress as well as showing tolerance to other ionic stresses.

 

Creating a Sustainability through GMO's:

Some of the most exciting advances in genetically altered plants are for non-food sources. Edible vaccinations are one such area.

  • The genetic engineering of plants has the potential to provide edible plant vaccines that could be used to immunize individuals against a wide variety of infectious diseases ranging from cholera to potentially AIDS.
  • One such example:
    • the transgenic potato plants that have been produced and tested successfully by utilizing a genetically engineered food to deliver a pharmaceutical immunization against diarrhea.

corn image taken from here