Genetically modified foods are not the answer. They produce higher yields at a cost of lower nutrients, even with chemical fertilizers because the soil is not looked after properly and many nutrients require the presence of soil microorganisms for uptake by plants. It’s like feeding someone only on vitamins and McDonalds – you get a fat malnourished person doesn’t matter how many vitamins you pop it’s not the same as getting them in their natural form.
Also (and this is biggest reason why GM is not the answer to the hunger problem) you can’t seed save with GM plants because their genes are too poor. So let’s say a farmer is poor he saves all his money and buys seed for planting. After the season he now has to spend his hard earned money getting more seed. If he could seed save he theoretically wouldn’t need to ever buy seed again and in fact his farm would grow EXPONENTIALLY. For example a small percentage of tomatoes can seed a whole crop for the season, and that percentage will grow with each season. It’s more complicated – you need to know how to seed save but it’s not impossible and it puts the control back in the hands of the farmers – not the large corporations. Instead of spending money on food aid poor countries need help with farming – give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish you feed him for the rest of his life, as the old saying goes.
We are losing natural genetic diversity in our food – we used to have hundreds of different apple varieties, different potatoes, different everything, but all these different foods are dying out and we are left with only a few varieties – where will it end? When our food is simply grown in labs and we are paying through our noses? Because you would think with all the genetic modification going on that we would have food coming out of our ears but we don’t. We need small scale farms surrounding cities and towns, and people growing food in their backyards. We need less parks and more policed community gardens where people can help themselves when they are hungry. We need seed banks, so that we can give seed to poor beginner farmers that want to start small.
I am all in favor of natural “genetic modification” ie natural selection and choosing plants with good genes for the next generation or cross breeding to create new varieties with the strength of both parent plants, this is more naturaland you can seed save with these plants if you are careful about cross pollination. Also, if you seed save you will get plants that are perfect for that soil and climate, improving in hardiness with each season, which can make them more drought resistant and not need so much input.
We don’t need solutions from the same corporations that helped create the problems in the first place…