GE&Big Challenges For Agriculture- Lessons From US

Genetic engineering (GE) has been proposed to be a transformative technology, necessary for ensuring that agriculture is sustainable and productive in coming decades. It began in the mid-1980s, almost 30 years ago, and the first commercialised GE crops were grown in the mid-1990s, about 16 years ago. This history provides a record that is now long enough to begin to evaluate the benefits, and to under¬stand the potential of this technology. Genetic engineering is often evaluated based on direct risks, such as possible harm from consumption or direct harm to beneficial organisms in the environment. But another important criterion for evaluating genetic engineering, or any other practice or technology in agriculture, is how successful it has been in addressing the biggest challenges confronting food and fiber production in a sustainable manner. The challenges to agriculture that need to be addressed are widely agreed upon, including producing enough food for a growing population, expected to reach about nine billion by mid-century. It is important to remember that poverty is the biggest reason why there is hunger in the world. To assess the progress and value of GE, we have evaluated the impact of genetic engineering in the US on three important challenges to agriculture: increasing food productivity, increasing nitrogen use efficiency, and increasing drought tolerance. These serve as indicators of how successful genetic engineering has been at addressing major challenges that must be solved if our food production system is to be sustainable and productive enough to serve humanity.


Title: GE&Big Challenges For Agriculture- Lessons From US
Authors: Doug Gurian-Sherman
Tags: genetic engineering
sustainable agriculture
GE crops
crop variety
climate change
Date: 21-Jan-2013
Publisher: Third World Network
Category Type: Reports
Appears in Sub-Collections:Biodiversity


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