Green Revolution and GMOs

By Surya Purohit

What are the causes and results of the Bengal Famine in 1943?

There had been a food shortage in India while the British were ruling. It had been the time of World War II so the British were occupied with war plans and didn't plan the limited amount of food that was dwindling in India. In the end, over four million people died from starvation due to the lack of resources.

The Three Basic Elements of the Green Revolution

Positive Results of the Green Revolution

  1. Crop production increased by over 30%, leading to a higher production rate. This decreased the starvation that was happening dramatically.
  2. India had such an excess of crops that they became an exporter of grains, showing the success of farming grains.
  3. India also became one of the biggest producers of agriculture in the world, showing the affects that the Green Revolution had.

Positive Economic Results of the Green Revolution

  1. Having more crops and farmland created a bigger need of farm necessities, such as fertilizer and chemicals, which created more job openings, eventually boosting the overall country's GDP.
  2. Due to double cropping, water needed to be present all year round, leading to the creation of dams to preserve water. Not only did this create more jobs, but the water was also used for hydroelectric power which benefited the lives of many people.
  3. All loans that were taken from the World Bank were eventually paid back due to high profits from the production of crops that year.

Limitations of the Green Revolution

  1. The method of genetically modified seeds has not been utilized in all regions of India, so the potential of the Green Revolution as not been completely reached yet, and most of the GMOs are only for one specific type of crop.
  2. Due to drought and and other conditions, not enough healthy produce was harvested, leading to shortages of certain food and the need to import materials from other places.

Human Health Risks and Environmental Impact

The genetically modified crops contain chemicals and other pesticides that can be harmful to human health. The chemicals have been known to to cause minor affects, such as food poisoning, to major affects, such as cancer. The nutritional facts are also unknown, with many crops tasting different by containing non-natural products. Having pesticides in the crops already limits the amount of environmental pollution when farmers have to go spray the crops.
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Pros of GMOs

  1. The seeds can be modified to be resistant to bugs and rodents, limiting the amount of pest related diseases that come in contact with humans.
  2. The seeds can be modified to already contain pesticides, so farmers don't have to spray all the plants, limiting the amounts of greenhouse emissions and environmental pollution.
  3. The seeds can be modified to contain more vitamins or minerals that benefit the human body.
  4. The seeds can be modified for better or more prominent tastes that are more appealing to consumers. This increases sales and demand of a product.
  5. The seeds can contain antibiotics and chemicals which can limit diseases that ultimately kill the crops, leading to a higher production rate.
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Cons of GMOs

  1. Due to the recent invention of genetically modified crops, there is not enough research on the side affects or the affects of being exposed to the chemicals in the crops.
  2. The chemicals and pesticides in the genetically modified crops can cause reactions in the body, whether it being an allergic reaction or a reflex from the body after interacting with an unknown product.
  3. Genetically modified crops can interbreed with other plants, creating a new breed that could lead to "superweeds", which are extremely difficult to get rid of.
  4. The genetically modified crops contain antibiotics and the body can become immune to those types, so when antibiotic medication needs to be taken, it won't be as efficient or effective against the bacteria.
  5. There has been reports that genetically modified crops contain a chemical that stimulates a bigger appetite, leading to bigger portion sizes and eventually going towards obesity.
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