From Debating Matters, this topic guide includes information, further reading and web links to help students understand the issues around the use of genetically modified food crops.
Supporters say that genetically-modified (GM) foods can help to provide food for an increasing world population. Opponents suggest that there are sufficient unknown risks to justify a freeze on the use of GM crops. The 2009 information sheet debate involves an interconnected set of issues, ranging from the environmental impact, economic costs and benefits of GM to issues of food production and human health.
The 2011 edition of this information sheet looks at how the issue of whether to pursue the commercial planting of GM crops has resurfaced. Are such crops an essential weapon in the ‘war against famine’ or are claims about the benefits of GM crops just a distraction from the political reasons for food shortages? What are the potential and real impacts of GM crops on the environment?
Whilst some countries such as the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Canada already grow GM crops extensively, many others have been more hesitant especially when it comes to food crops. The debate involves an interconnected set of issues, ranging from the environmental impact, economic costs and benefits of GM to wider concerns about food production, human health and the environment.
HEALTH and SAFETY
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