World hunger has improved over the course of the year, but the number of people who remain without food is staggering and more needs to be done to combat the scourge of world hunger. But other than the man-made causes of hunger such as war and corruption, there are natural causes that we cannot do much about such as drought and excessive rainfall. These factors affect the size and quality of the harvest over time making some people hungrier than others. But experts have argued that we could have adopted GM food to solve this problem because side effects are minimal or non-existent in some cases and in some cases because understanding of the subject is still so low, many want nothing to do with GM foods. This may be why some supermarkets display organic and non-organic labels on food items to give people a choice. But in this article, we’ll take a look at what the stats say and how global bodies like the United Nations are using genetically engineered foods to fight hunger. This has undoubtedly reduced hunger rates but more needs to be done to educate the public about these foods.
As of 2021, the world hunger statistics are as follows:
An estimated 690 million people, or about 9% of the world’s population, are undernourished. Most of the world’s hungry live in developing countries, where one in three people are undernourished, and in sub-Saharan Africa, one in four people who are undernourished. Undernutrition: In Asia, one in five people is undernourished, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on food security, with an estimated 135 million people facing acute hunger by the end of 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
It is important to note that hunger is not just about a lack of food, it can be driven by poverty, lack of access to education, and lack of access to healthcare. The UN agency responsible for combating hunger, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has stated that the number of people who suffer from hunger could be cut in half if the root causes of poverty and inequality are addressed effectively.
These numbers are constantly updated and it is important to note that the numbers are estimates and the actual numbers may be higher or lower. Fighting world hunger is a complex and ongoing issue, requiring a multifaceted approach that addresses the underlying causes of poverty and inequality.
Genetically modified foods have been proposed as a potential solution to world hunger, as they can increase crop yields and improve the nutritional content of foods.
One of the main benefits of GM crops is that they can be engineered to be resistant to pests and diseases, which can greatly increase crop yields. For example, the use of GM cotton in India has been shown to increase yields by up to 50%. In addition, GM crops can also be engineered to be tolerant of environmental stressors such as drought, which can help increase food security in areas prone to water scarcity.
Another potential benefit of GM foods is that they can be designed to be more nutritious. For example, scientists have developed genetically modified rice rich in vitamin A, which can help combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. In addition, GM crops could also be engineered to produce more protein, which could help address malnutrition issues.
Despite the potential benefits of GM foods, there are also concerns about their safety and environmental impact. Some critics argue that GM crops could lead to the emergence of “superweeds” that are resistant to herbicides and can be difficult to control. In addition, there are concerns about the possibility of crossing GM crops with wild relatives and creating new hybrids that could be harmful to the environment.
Another potential concern is that widespread adoption of GM crops could lead to a loss of genetic diversity among crops, which could make them more susceptible to disease and other stressors.
In conclusion, while genetically modified foods have the potential to help address world hunger issues by increasing crop yields and improving the nutritional content of foods, it is important to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits before adopting them on a large scale. More research is needed to understand the long-term effects of GM crops and to ensure they are safe for human consumption and the environment.
Challenges with genetically modified foods
The effects of genetically modified foods on human health are a topic of ongoing debate and research.
Supporters of GMO foods argue that they are safe to eat and that there is no evidence to suggest that they are harmful to human health. They argue that the genetic modifications made to the crops are similar to those that occurred naturally over time through traditional breeding methods. In addition, they argue that genetically modified foods are highly regulated and that any potential risks are carefully evaluated before they are approved for consumption.
However, some critics argue that genetically modified foods can be harmful to human health in the long run. They argue that more research is needed to understand the potential risks and that there may be unintended consequences of consuming genetically modified foods. Some critics claim that there are health risks associated with consuming genetically modified foods, such as allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, and cancer. However, studies have not been able to prove any clear link between genetically modified foods and such health risks.
In addition, the long-term effects of GM food consumption on human health are not yet known, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential risks. Some scientists are calling for more rigorous testing and labeling of GM foods to ensure that consumers are aware of what they are eating and can make informed choices.
In conclusion, the effects of genetically modified foods on human health are the subject of ongoing debate and research. While many scientists argue that genetically modified foods are safe to eat, critics argue that more research is needed to fully understand the potential risks. It is important to consider both the potential benefits and risks of genetically modified foods, and to continue monitoring and researching their effects on human health.
How global governing bodies such as the United Nations view GM crops
The United Nations (UN) has recognized the potential of genetically modified (GM) crops to help fight world hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) states that genetically modified crops can play an important role in helping to increase crop yields, improve food security and reduce poverty in developing countries.
The United Nations is also actively promoting the use of genetically modified crops in developing countries. For example, in 2016, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) began using genetically modified maize in food assistance programs in Malawi, helping to increase crop yields and improve food security for local communities.
In addition, the United Nations is working to address concerns about the safety and regulation of genetically modified crops. The Food and Agriculture Organization has called for a scientific approach to regulating genetically modified crops and stressed the importance of ensuring that genetically modified crops are safe for human consumption and the environment. FAO has also developed guidelines for the safe handling and transport of GM crops to help ensure they are used responsibly.
The United Nations is also working to increase public awareness and understanding of genetically modified crops. For example, the FAO works to educate farmers and policymakers in developing countries about the potential benefits of genetically modified crops and the importance of responsible regulation.
Finally, the United Nations has recognized the potential of genetically modified crops to help fight world hunger, and has been actively promoting their use in developing countries. The United Nations is also working to address concerns about the safety and regulation of GM crops, as well as increasing public awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of GM crops.