The History and Future of Genetically Modified Crops: Frankenfoods, Superweeds, and the Developing World
33 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2011
Does genetic engineering create dangerous mutant foods? Or is it a benign technology that offers the promise of improved crop yields, decreased pesticide use, and even drought resistance to help poor countries cope with climate change? The latter position is usually associated with the United States, while the European Union remains wary of scientific tinkering with plants. Caught in the middle are the developing countries, who struggle to create effective regulatory systems with activists, NGOs, and scientists all making different (and often contradictory) claims about GM foods' safety and utility. This paper offers an introduction to the issue by discussing the history of scientific innovation in agriculture, potential effects of GM crops on human health and the environment, media and regulatory responses to GM technology, and some of the controversies surrounding GM crops in the developing world.
Keywords: genetic modification, development, agriculture, GM crops, golden rice, green revolution, gene splicing, pesticides, environment, climate change, drought tolerance, Bt cotton
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