This paper is relevant to the impact areas in the following areas:
|Crops:||Cotton, Maize, Oilseed Rape, Rice, Soybean|
|Traits:||Fungal Resistance, Herbicide Tolerance, Insect Res. (BT), Insect Resistance, Virus Resistance|
Abstract or Summary:
Among the many hotly contested issues in the debate over biotechnology today is its potential to combat hunger in the developing world. This question is especially relevant as biotechnology struggles to find acceptance while countries in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world face famine. Proponents of biotechnology argue for the immense possibilities that it offers in the fight to end hunger, while opponents say that hunger can be combated successfully without dependence on what they consider dangerous genetically modified (GM) products. Anti-biotech activists often make the case that the inability to end hunger is due to failure in other areas. In a world awash with agricultural surpluses, they argue, we do not need biotechnology. Instead, we should redouble or refine our efforts to relieve distribution bottlenecks, open markets to exports from less developed countries (LDCs), increase investments in yield-enhancing hybridization techniques, boost foreign assistance budgets and medical aid programs, and focus on other areas where the record of success in combating hunger is characterized by less than satisfactory results or outright failure.
This paper reviews modern efforts to fight hunger and the projected future of the problem. It looks at what biotechnology has to offer and the debate surrounding it, and then explores ways to overcome the obstacles to realizing its potential to help wage a successful war on hunger. While traditional efforts should be continued, biotechnology?s potential to make a safe, meaningful contribution to fighting hunger is too significant to be overlooked, and is in fact reason alone to embrace it.
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