Genetically modified crops have been going through a backlash of criticisms that seem to make it quite unpopular for many consumers. Although the demand for such crops among farmers may be growing for being relatively cost effective, still the demand among the actual consumers for them remain low. Demand among consumers may come from the fact that most may not have an idea of what they are eating may be sourced from GM crops.
Labeling issues as well as questions of being an answer to the world food shortage continue to be debated. Those who don’t believe that GM crops may be the answer to world hunger even in the near future cite various reasons for saying so. Here are some of them.
One of the reasons why opponents don’t believe GM crops to be the answer to world hunger is that such crops fail to deliver as claimed. So far, the successful GM crops today have only their superior resistance qualities to certain herbicides to be proud of. This would be a benefit for most farmers. But when it comes to feeding the world’s hungry, GM crops still come way short of achieving success.
The closest thing to such a GM crop, the so-called Golden Rice, still remains in the lab because it has too little to offer when it comes to providing a certain benefit for a hungry population. The Golden Rice is said to be the answer to Vitamin A deficiency, with the plant genetically modified to produce more of the said nutrient. But later studies showed that it would take one person to eat about 12 bowls daily to get the recommended levels.
Another reason why those opposing GM crops believe they are not able to feed the world is that the costs of cultivating them prove to be higher than is expected. Many governments in the world as well as farmers are beginning to realize this. On a 2003 report by the Soil Association in the United Stated have estimated the cost of GM crops to the government to be around 12 billion dollars since 1999. This has been on account to loss of export orders due to low demand, recall of seeds and inflated subsidies for farms growing GM crops.
Farmers are also seen to suffer from some of the cost of cultivating GM crops. A study made in Iowa has found that growing GM soybeans costs the same as growing conventional soy crops but produce lower yields. This decreases the profit that the farmers can make for every crop cycle. In India, the issue of mounting Indian farmer suicides between 2001 and 2005 has been linked to their cultivation of inadequate GM crops that resulted in mounting debts.