Love them or hate them but you can’t ignore GMOs. They have the potential to increase yield, and qualities such as insect resistant or pest resistant provides quality produce and profits for farmers. People are still divided whether to eat GMOs or not and it is mostly because of the misinformation that is spread by ideological groups devoid of any scientific arguments.
On the contrary, GMOs are tested thoroughly for their safety to human, animals and environment before they are commercially released. GMOs are as safe as traditional crops. The time from the initiation of a discovery project, testing it for safety to human, animal and environment to commercial launch requires on average 13.1 years for all relevant crops.
Multiple studies (over 3,000) and over 284 scientific organizations including, WHO, FAO, The UK Royal Society have said that foods derived from GM plants are safe. As a matter of fact, 1785 studies on GMO safety are available on informalhealthcase website. The European Union report based on 130 research projects conducted over 25 years and involving more than 500 independent research groups, concluded that GM crops were as safe as the conventionally bred ones and had the potential to improve crops beyond the limits of traditional breeding.
Here’s how food tech can bring about various advancements in the crops:
Nutritionally enhanced crops can be developed through Biotechnology
More nutritious crops are no more a dream. It can be realized through appropriate biotechnological tools. There are several success stories such as nutritionally enhanced purple tomatoes that have higher levels of anthocyanins (naturally occurring pigment well known for its health promoting properties). Similarly, through Golden Rice Project, vitamin-A enriched rice was developed. Lack of vitamin A in the body is responsible for blindness among children. An important crop for developing countries and for the underprivileged. There are 14 GMO crops grown across the world, however many developing countries are still waiting for their turn to enjoy the benefits.
Use of Pesticide can be reduced through Biotechnology
Only targeted use of herbicides and pesticides is required in GMO cultivation. Therefore, making the food devoid of any pesticide residue and free of pests and insects. As per research studies, crop biotechnology reduces the use of chemical pesticides by 37 percent resulting in a considerable increase of yield by 22 percent and profits of farmers by 68 percent.
Resistance to Climate Change
GMOs are developed to cope with climatic stress. The agriculture industry has been facing a lot of issues due to rapid climate change . GM crops have the potential to withstand harsh climate and can grow, with greater yield.
Biotechnology has a lot of potential to address crop-related issues such as pests infestation, biotic and abiotic stress, low nutrition crops etc. With GMOs, scientists want to help agriculture and farmers with a sustainable solution for increasing productivity and income. Turning towards scientific solutions and innovations is the need of the hour when climate change is rapid and unpredictable.