The anticipated world population growth emphasizes a need to produce more food on less land. Cutting-edge technologies, including genetic engineering, can help to develop improved crop varieties and protect natural resources. In spite of the potential for genetically-modified (GM) crops to make crop production more efficient, they remain a polarizing issue due to safety concerns …. The safety of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins is used as an example for how risk assessment is applied to GM crops. Risks associated with GM crops have proven to be low to non-existent. Developing countries would benefit from GM technologies as one tool to improve crop yields and reduce production challenges.
Currently there are only two countries in Africa, South Africa and Sudan, growing commercialized GM crops. Eleven additional countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are engaged in GM research trials. Given the increasing food demand and the threats of emerging insect pests to crop production, there is a need to expedite the approval and commercialization of GM crops, such as Bt maize, to benefit farmers and consumers. There has been significant scrutiny of GM technology with no substantial evidence of risk to humans. Making GM technology available provides farmers with another option to protect crops from pests and increase crop yields.
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