Food and agriculture

GM crops can help tackle world food shortage

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 10:45am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 10:45am

I refer to the letter from Alan Crawley (“GM food is not proven to be unsafe, so stop the fearmongering” (April 17).

With the evolution of biotechnology, the genes of an organism can be easily modified. Genetically modified (GM) food production is a case of using biotechnology in our daily lives, where food comes from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA through genetic engineering.

The question is: should GM food production be encouraged? And the answer is a definitive yes.

GM food production is highly efficient, and GM crops produce better yields. Genetic features like pest resistance, increased nutrient content and productivity can be introduced into the DNA of GM crops, benefiting farmers as well as consumers.

For example, a GM tomato can be sweeter than the original variety and also have richer and more diverse nutritional value, such as increased amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre.

GM crops can increase harvest yields and even be cultured to thrive in some areas with harsh environmental factors. Genetic engineering can protect crops from disease, ensuring better survival and assured food production.

Food shortages and overuse of pesticide in less-developed parts of the world can therefore be eased. So GM food production should be encouraged and publicised.

Simon Chung, Kwun Tong