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Should Genetically Engineered Foods be Used to Alleviate Hunger?


Have you ever thought of how genetically engineered food can contribute to the reduction of world hunger especially among developing countries with high poverty rates? This article sheds a light on this controversial ongoing debate. Read more and share your thoughts in the comments!


World hunger and food shortages are reoccurring issues in most underdeveloped countries. Among the many possible biotechnologies accessible and the various applications, genetic modification (GM) of crops deserves special attention. Genetically engineered crops containing genes from many organisms could potentially reduce global food shortages. Although there was initial optimism surrounding the adoption of GM crops, with the expectation that they would offer farmers with larger and better harvests, there are now uncertainties concerning the benefits of such crops.


In medicine, malnutrition is associated with hunger. According to the Food and Agriculture Institution’s most current estimate, 854 million people globally are malnourished. This equates to 12.6% of the world’s 6.6 billion population. Many of the 854 million undernourished people, the majority of whom are children, live in developing countries. Every disease, including measles and malaria, is exacerbated by malnutrition.


Around 140 million low-income adolescents in 118 countries, primarily in Africa and South-East Asia, have vitamin A deficiency. This scenario has deteriorated into a public health emergency. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 Vitamin A-deficient kids go blind each year, with half of them dying within a year of losing their vision. Golden Rice, developed by scientists in Germany and Switzerland, contains three new genes, two from daffodils and one from a bacterium, that aid in the production of preformed vitamin A.


Biotechnology experts are frequently extremely specialized and technique-focused, and thus may require additional expertise in dealing with the complex issue of hunger and food security in poor nations.


Biotechnology has enormous potential for the developing nations. High-yielding, disease and pest-resistant crops will have a direct impact on food security, reducing poverty, and environmental conservation. GM crops will, presumably, yield more on less land. This may enhance total output and provide a mechanism for emerging countries to maintain themselves while also reducing global hunger.