Green Revolution and GMOs

By: Nate Broadfield

1943 Bengal Famine

The famine was caused by multiple problems. The main ones being:

  • Crop shortages caused by the brown spot disease
  • A cyclone that struck during the winter of 1942, causing destruction of crops and killing a large amount of cattle
  • No British support due to the problem being put off during war times, causing farmers to inflate prices for increased profit
  • A lack of export from countries such as Burma during the war. This resulted in some 1-4 million deaths as an after effect.

Basic Elements to the Green Revolution in India

1. Continued expansion of farmland

2. Double-cropping existing farmland

3. Using seeds with improved genetics yielding more profit and better resistance to disease

Two Positive Results

1. Increase in crop production

2. Creation of seeds with better resistance to disease

Political, Sociological, and Economic Results to the Green Revolution

Political- India was able to pay back all loans taken from the world bank

Economic- Created industry and agriculture jobs

Sociological- Created jobs in industry, which furthered technology to hydroelectric power and jobs involving hydroelectric power


1. India still has to import, making it not completely self-sufficient

2. There are still famine-like areas of India that have not been completely improved

Pros and Cons to GMOs

  • Negatives:
  • Cross pollination can cause a creation of herbicide resistant plants
  • Studies show GMOsnare dangerous to rats which means it can be dangerous to other livestock
  • Can trigger allergic reactions more easily due to novel proteins in them
  • More herbicide are needed of you want to kill the GMO than for their organic counterpart
  • Safety tests can be as short as 90 days which isn't always long enough to find of a GMO is dangerous

  • Larger yields for more efficient use of land
  • The desired genotype can be instantly created for the current generation
  • More predictable breeding and transfer of genes
  • Less pesticide and fertilizer needed
  • More nutritional with more minerals and vitamins