Green Revolution and GMOs
By Sammie Griffith
What were the causes and results of the Bengal Famine in 1943?
During the winter of 1942, a cyclone affected the three major crops in Bengal, aman (harvested in winter), aus (harvested in autumn), and boro (harvested in spring). Disease after excessive raining and flooding destroyed even more crops. Around the same time, the Japanese cut off rice imports which accounted for around 20% of the total rice consumption in the state. This decreased the rice production in 1943 which contributed to the Great Bengal Famine. As a result, some crops needed more water, more fertilizer, more pesticides, fungicides, and other chemicals. This caused many crops to grow slower.
Three basic elements of the Green Revolution in India:
1. Continued expansion of farming areas
2. Double cropping existing farmland
3. Using seeds with improved genetics
- The Green Revolution created many jobs not only in the agricultural section, but in the industrial workers as well, because of the higher use of factories.
- The increase of jobs impacted the lives of people in villages
- India was able to pay back all loans it had taken from the World Bank
Two limitations of the Green Revolution in India
1. There are still parts in India that have famine like conditions
2. India still has to import, which is not completely self- sufficient
Green Revolution Food Risk in India
Human health risks:
- Because of the decrease in production of crops, many people and children have been affected, decreasing the weight and food they are receiving. This has led to many people dying in lack of food. Because they are planting more crops now, they contain pesticides which not only slow the growth of the crops, but can affect human health in a bad way.
- Because of all the crops dying, pesticides became more in use and more dams were built in store for water.
What is GMOs?
A GMO (genetically modified organism), is the process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans.
Pros of GMOs
- Insect resistance
- Some foods have been modified to make them more resistant to insect pests
- Mostly safe for human use
- Can reduce pesticide chemicals used on plants
- Better food quality and taste
Cons of GMOs
- Can introduce allergic risks to people
- Cause new reactions to the new allergies, some being more serious and fatal than others
- Animals have been discovered to either die or become sick after eating genetically modified foods.
- Making plants or animals that are resistant to bacteria can cause bacteria to become stronger and harder to kill.
- Introducing plants and animals that do not naturally occur into the ecosystem could have devastating effects on current species due to cross breeding and pollination.