disadvantages of GM technology)
I've describe some ideas in more detail on my
crop developments page, applications so far include:
Genetically engineered crops designed to:
(i) be pest
resistant - insects/fungi/pathogens,
(ii) survive in drought conditions,
(iii) unaffected by herbicides used to protect the crop from
These are all potentially
beneficial applications of genetically engineered crops and
should reduce waste damaged crops.
Crops can also be GM designed to combat certain nutrient
deficiencies e.g. increasing the content of a chemical in
'Golden Rice' that helps make Vitamin A in the body.
Again this is good science, the
concept of food security includes nutritional quality.
However, there are still issue of concern and
where GM might not help e.g.
Poor quality soil lacking in
nutrients or water means crops will fail, even if they are GM.
Hunger exists where people cannot afford to buy food, even if it is available,
therefore you need political and economic strategies to tackle
poverty and improve/make fairer the economy and maybe import
There is a danger that the agricultural
production of a country might be too dominated by multinational
companies that manufacture the GM seeds and are only
interested in maximising profits for the few (rich) at the
expense of the many (poor).
GM crops are not the complete answer and neither
should they always the 'first choice' in the future.
However, traditional methods of selective
breeding for crops (and animals too!) can still produce
varieties of crops and livestock which give improved yields.
Other genetic methods for increasing crop
Scientific research of plant genes gives
us detailed genomes of different plant species.
From this genome knowledge you can selectively cross-breed plants which have advantageous genes
e.g. that give plants more resistant to
weather conditions (dry, wet, hot, cold) and other abiotic
factors - make crops more efficient in water use, cope with
and make them more resistant to biotic
factors such as pests e.g. insects and diseases which damage
It might be better to breeding higher yielding strains of
crops by traditional non-GM methods.