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GMO's in the Developing World

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  1. GMO’s in the Developing World By Tim Berkland

  2. Outline • GMO’s and what they are • World hunger/poverty – Problem? • GMO Positives • GMO Negatives • GMO’s role in helping with hunger • Conclusion

  3. What are GMO’s and where did they come from • GMO – Genetically Modified Organism • A living organism that has been genetically altered using molecular genetics techniques such as gene cloning or protein engineering. • History • 1973 1st recombinant DNA organism • 1986 1st field tests of genetically engineered plant (tobacco in Belgium) • 1992 Flavr Savr tomato approved by USDA • 1997 GMO soybeans become widely used • 2002 128 million acres planted to GMO crops • Currently • GMO’s have continued to play a large role in crop production • In 2005 52% of corn, 79% of cotton, and 87% of soybean acres were planted to GM seed.

  4. World Hunger Issues • Over 850 million people worldwide are undernourished • This number is expected to increase (especially in developing countries) • Increase in food prices • Biofuels production • Poverty leads to hunger which ultimately leads back to poverty • 75% of people living in poverty/hunger live in rural areas • Overall lack of food security in underdeveloped countries • Government • Can’t produce enough themselves • Increasing population Can GMO’s Help This Problem?

  5. GMO Benefits/Positives • Declining area of land for production • New technologies needed to increase crop yield • GMO’s proven to reduce harmful pesticide use • HT soybean – 10% reduction • BT cotton – 60% reduction • Average yield increase • Plant architecture • Enhancing fertilizer, pesticide, and water efficiencies • Molecular hybridization • Improved nutritional value (golden rice) • Higher levels of oil – boost feed efficiency • Cost savings – boost farm incomes for rural farmers • Pest control (Bt)

  6. GMO Concerns/Negatives • Risk of invasiveness to the environment • Risk of losing biodiversity • Possible allergens • Ethical issues • Over-dependence on seed companies • Loss of foreign markets (EU) • Inadequate research opportunities in developing countries • Government policies • Opinions of biotechnology

  7. GMO’s in the Developing World • GMO’s scale neutral • Contribute higher yields • Dependable • Less environmental pressure • Safety • Food Security • Better nutrition • Growth • Developing countries showing growth • 1996 – 2001 2.8 million hectares to about 19 million hectares

  8. Conclusion • Biotech has both positive and negative aspects • Could improve food security of developing countries • More research and education needed • Has come a long way and likely will continue to grow in the future • Has hurdles to jump yet

  9. References "History of Genetic Engineering". American Radio Works. 2-26-09 <http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/gmos_india/history.html>."Biotechnology". USDA. 2-26-09 <http://www.usda.gov/documents/BIOTECHNOLOGY.pdf>. Chaturvedi, Sachin, S.R. Rao. "Biotechnology and International Trade Regime: Options before Developing Countries". Asian Biotechnology and Development Review 9-31. TOLLENS, Eric, Matty DEMONT and Rony SWENNEN. "AGROBIOTECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:". Katholieke University Leuven December 2003: Phipps, R.H., and J. R. Park. "Environmental Benefits of Genetically Modified Crops: Global and European Perspectives on Their Ability to Reduce Pesticide Use". Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 2002. Vol.11, pages 1-18