What are the disadvantages of genetically modified plants

School and genetic engineering

The number of people continues to grow - in 2050 we will be over 9 billion who live mainly in cities and want to eat more meat. The agricultural area is decreasing through erosion, desertification and building-up and can only grow by destroying valuable ecosystems such as rainforests. In addition, agriculture should provide more renewable energy and raw materials.

Per: Yes, we need genetic engineering to fight hunger in the world.

In order to be able to meet our increasing demand, agricultural production will have to be almost doubled over the next few decades. This is not possible with conventional breeding methods alone. Genetic engineering alone will not eliminate hunger, but it can make an important contribution by developing high-yielding, disease- and pest-resistant and drought-tolerant plants - more effectively and faster than conventional breeding.

Cons: No, genetic engineering creates more problems than it solves.

Never before has mankind produced more food than it does today. Over a third of it is thrown away. If food were distributed fairly, nobody would go hungry. Yet a billion people are starving today - more than ever before on this planet. 70 percent of all hungry people live in the countryside - especially in Asia and Africa. What the people there lack is access to land, water and seeds, to practical know-how, to local markets and simple technologies. So far, only animal feed, cotton and energy from the fields have been produced with genetic engineering plants. In developing countries they compete with the production of food for local markets. Patents on genetic engineering plants bring poor farmers into new dependencies, as they are no longer allowed to use their harvest for sowing without paying licenses. Over a thousand patents on genetic engineering plants have already been granted.

World food theme

Case study genetically modified cotton

Subject patents