Green Revolution and GMOs

By Bobbi Crim

Causes and Results of the Bengal Famine

The Bengal Famine was the world's worst recorded famine that starved an estimated four million people to death in the year of 1943.

Causes of the famine include food shortages, but more of the hysteria from World War II contributed to the famine due to the lack of food as a priority (later to be exploited by Indian traders that hoarded food to sell at higher prices).

Results of the famine include The Green Revolution, as well as legislative measures to ensure that businessmen are unable to profit from hoarding food.

Basic Elements of the Green Revolution in India

Statistical Benefits

India had a record grain output of 131 million tons (1978-79), which established India as one of the biggest agricultural producers of the world.

Yield per unit of farmland in India advanced by more than 30 percent (1947-1979).

Economic Results

The necessity to preserve the soil for cropping caused more manufacturing job opportunities, which contributed to the country's GDP.

India was able to fulfill repayment to the World Bank for loans taken out.

Countries, such as Canada, sought out assistance in agricultural areas, which enhanced India's foreign exchange earnings.

Sociological Results

The Green Revolution created multiple occupations in the areas of agriculture and industry.

Political Results

The Green Revolution caused India to transfer from a starving country to a exporter of food, which improved India's reputation in the comity of nations.

It was also a factor that caused the Indian National Congress to gain political authority in India

Limitations of the Green Revolution

The revolution didn't make India completely self-sufficient in food.

India did not succeed in extending the notion of high yield value (HYV) seeds to all regions and crops.

There are still starving occurrences in India (due to reasons other that food availability).

It was not a 100 percent success.

Human Health Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms

  • new allergies are made
  • dietary needs are corrupted
  • unpredictable long-term effects
  • food has increased toxicity
  • food has less nutritional value

Environmental Impact of Genetically Modified Organisms

  • Increase use of pesticides and herbicides
  • Cross pollination
  • weeds are adapted "superweeds" to with insecticidal properties or herbicide-resistance
  • insects become resistant to pesticides
  • less biodiversity
  • pollution of the water and soil

Advantages of Genetically Modified Organisms

  • Creating plants better resistant to weeds, pest and other diseases
  • Bigger yields to create more efficient use of land, less uses of herbicides and other pesticides.
  • Foods with better texture, flavor and nutritional value.
  • Foods with a longer shelf life for easier shipping.
  • Finally, GM foods can create an essential sustainable way to feed the world

Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Organisms

  • The safety of such products is not verified yet
  • It could create more dietary restrictions, such as allergies or problems for vegetarians and vegans (if animal genes are put into plants, etc.)
  • Adverse effects on the immune system
  • Pesticide-enhanced food can create creatures that are immune to the pesticides
  • The effects of genetic food engineering could be irreversible, and long-term affects are unknown