Can GM Crops Feed the World?

October 2, 2014 11:32 am
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The promise that genetically modified crops can “feed the world” is largely used by the biotechnology industry to encourage widespread acceptance of their technology, but it overlooks the real causes of hunger, and disregards the limitations and harmful impacts of GM agriculture.

field multiple harvesters


In the U.S. alone, where vast tracts of land are devoted to GMO crops, and the world’s largest and most successful ag-bio corporation responsible for GMOs is based, one in six Americans is facing hunger. Monsanto’s “feed the world” mantra isn’t even succeeding in its own country. Source:

Fact #2:

The problem with hunger is not a lack of food—the world already produces more than enough food—the problem is poverty. Source:

Fact #3:

Corporate control of food dramatically increases the cost of food, which widens the poverty gap. Source: In essence, corporate food control sets up a vicious circle of hunger and poverty. Source:

Fact #4:

GM crops do not increase yields. In the US alone, yields of herbicide tolerant soy and corn did not increase in the years after GM was introduced. In India, GM cotton failed in many parts of the country, causing terrible hardship for farmers. Source:

Overall, conventionally bred (non-GM) varieties are more effective, less costly to develop, and cheaper for farmers to grow, and organic varieties produce greater yields. Source:

Fact #5:

GM crops on the market are NOT designed to address hunger. The top two genetically modified crop traits do one of two things: resist insects by producing their own internal insecticide, and remain alive when repeatedly sprayed with weedkiller (coincidentally the very weedkillers manufactured by the same companies producing the GM crops).

These traits are engineered into four crops (which account for almost 100% of worldwide GM crop acreage): soy, corn, cotton and canola. All four have been developed for large-scale industrial farming and are used as cash crops for export to produce automotive fuel (ethanol), to feed meat animals, or to produce ingredients used in processed food. NONE of these uses are feeding the poor and hungry. There are almost no GM fruits and vegetables on the market, nor GM grains used for direct human consumption / to combat world hunger. Source: CBAN Report 2014