CASE AGAINST GMO IN A HUNGER STRICKEN AFRICA

Despite some progress over the past 20 years, there has been a rise in global hunger, with data from 2016 showing that more than 800 million people worldwide are malnourished. GM crops are plants that have had their DNA sequences altered using genetic engineering to add a desirable trait. By increasing crop yield, for instance, genetic engineering can increase the amount of the target crop produced. Additionally, scientists can create pest-resistant crops to help local farmers better withstand environmental hazards.

Early in October, Kenya lifted a 10 year ban on the GMO products. It however encountered mixed reactions; on the one hand, scientists were happy as they argued that it could be a big step in combating hunger while on the other hand, the anti-GMO activists strongly opposed the move saying it will pose a health risk to Kenyans. Due to concerns about food safety, morality, environmental risks, biodiversity loss, and a lack of regulations, Africa is hesitant to adopt GMOs. Arguments that GMOs cause allergies in some people and that using GMO products may have long-term effects have not yet been proven. GMO adoption is a Trojan horse. It might be used as a quick way to produce food, but this decision might have unfavorable economic consequences. It is known that some nations still forbid the use of GMO products, and as a result, they will impose bans on goods from Kenya, which will lower our exports. The requirement for local farmers to purchase seeds from specific companies when using GMOs could result in the extinction of the organic products we so admire. Other options to improve food security and lessen hunger may include ecological re-engineering of agriculture, expanding crop production areas given that Africa has a large amount of arable land, and subsidizing input costs for agricultural products.

Sadly, GM food is not the panacea for hunger that Africa needs. Hunger can’t be eradicated with a single solution, and doing so would be far more difficult than focusing only on food availability or quality. Goal 2: “Zero Hunger” of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” This objective lays the groundwork for the multifaceted strategy that will be used to combat hunger including political action, the reduction of violence, technological advancements in agriculture and other fields, efforts to end poverty, and educational programs.

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