In my last post I spoke of the misconceptions that surround genetically engineered foods and how ignorance on this heavily departed topic may lead to more damage than good. Recently, the Center for Strategic and International Studies has done a few reports on the potential benefits of incorporating genetically modified crops into African countries agriculture. In response to this report, the overwhelming majority of published articles in renowned new sources have agreed that the fear of genetically modified foods is derived from superstitions based on an ignorance of how foods are actually developed in technologically advanced nations.
On a daily basis, we eat foods in the developed world that have been genetically modified through both traditional and random processes through the use of either unplanned or induced mutations. However, what the majority of the public do not realize is that genetically engineered foods and crops will not only produce a crop that is more efficient but the process of genetic modification also only makes small changes in the most effective way to produce a product without making dangerous revisions in the food’s natural composition.
According to a policy director for the Center for Food Safety, "the use of antibiotics in livestock" is a much greater threat to human and animal health than the use and incorporation of genetic modification of crops. In Africa, many communities are suffering from famine due to drought. In fact, three-quarters of the world's most severe droughts over the past 10 years have been in Africa. The report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies points out that while genetically engineered foods will not save Africa, it will help to improve crop yields and create seeds that can thrive in times of drought. Monsanto, a sustainable international agriculture company, has started a relatively new project with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Howard Buffet Foundation and USAID. This project aims to enhance food security in Sub-Saharan Africa by developing genetically modified drought-tolerant corn that can be distributed to farmers. This product has the potential to reduce hunger and increase food available throughout Africa. According to Monsato, this could produce an "estimated two million additional tons of food enough to feed 14 to 21 million people."
The problem is that this corn is not being accepted in many African nations because of the fear of GE crops and because much of Europe has rejected the crops and has convinced African nations to do the same. It is easier for Europe to say no to genetically modified crops because the people of Europe will no stave without them. However, African nations will suffer greatly from famine without the new crops. In order for this fear of Genetical Engineered crops to subside, there needs to be serious debates and articles published showing the benefits of GE crops.