Too many times have we heard that genetic engineering may provide the answer to the world’s problems in agriculture. But up until now, doubts and fears still seem to be in the minds of many people when faced with the idea of using or consuming food coming from a genetically modified crop.
Adherents to the technology believes that the only way to improve global practices to increase yields and enjoy better harvests is through genetic engineering. It seems that such people are keen on selling the idea that the genetic engineering of important crops is the only way to survive. But is it really?
The most recent statistics have shown that genetically engineered crops now cover an estimated 81 million hectares of agricultural land worldwide. In 2004, 17 countries were known to have officially grown GE crops with others continually being persuaded to adopt GM crops in their own lands. The pressure to adopt planting GM crops has led to world agriculture being forced to make a major choice between which technology to build its future on.
Genetic engineering as a technology utilized for world agriculture can still be seen as a risky proposition as many biosafety issues about plants developed under genetic engineering still remain to be addressed clearly.
The problem with GM crops on its various opponents is that most of the crops now commercially introduced to the public were given certain privileges that allowed them to be made commercially available even with an obvious lack of extensive safety testing. This is due in part to the scientists lack of knowledge for suitable testing methods for GM plants during those times. This has led to many biosafety doubts that continue to haunt and plague GM plants that has made public acceptance all the more difficult.
There are still many who believe that organic management of farms may still be the best way to go for the future of agriculture. With news that some of the considered GM plants developing new problems such as new pesticide tolerant enemies and pests as well as uncontrolled crop contamination, the use of GM crops may not be as smooth after all.
The future scenario that biotech companies may eventually control world agriculture with their patented GM crops also seem to put a number of farmers ill at ease. Only time will tell where the fate of world agriculture or that or GM crops will lead to. People can only hope that wherever that fate may bring them, it would all be for the better.