Presentation on theme: "Genetically Modified Crops To plant or not to plant in Africa."— Presentation transcript:
Genetically Modified Crops To plant or not to plant in Africa
Genetic Modification vs. Plant Breeding Plant breeding entails successive rounds of selection of high quality plants with favorable characteristics. Genetic Modification allows individual genes with desired traits to be moved directly from one organism into the living DNA of another. Genetic engineering advances the science of specialized crop production by allowing crop scientists to use genetic traits from species that are outside of the normal reproductive range of the plant that is being developed.
Pros and Cons of GM Crops Pros: GM has the potential to develop crops that are resistant to a number of harmful factors ( drought stress, disease, insects. GM also has the potential to infuse existing crops with essential vitamins and minerals. Cons: Potential for the creation of new weeds (and stronger weeds), damage to non-target species, and adverse effects on ecosystem processes. Many believe that because there is so little known about the various effects of GM crops on the environment and human health, that the potential long-term risks of GM implementation outweigh the short-term benefits.
My Proposition I propose that GM technologies are a realistically viable piece to Africa’s agricultural present and future, as long as it is done responsibly and sustainably. Currently, three countries in Africa commercially grow GM crops. These countries are South Africa (cotton, maize, and soybeans since 1998), Egypt (Maize), and Burkina Faso (cotton). GM crops are stigmatized in much of Africa for numerous reasons (Anti-GM countries in Europe are highly influential). Several African leaders have expressed concern that countries will refuse to import their crops if they are genetically modified. Developed countries are often the most anti-GM because they have an abundance of food and an array of nutritional alternatives (like organic).