Global Economics of Genetically Modified Corn

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Unit 8: Global Economics of Genetically Modified Corn

The problem with international food crisis issues is that everyone has fundamentally different views on how to correct the situation. In 2002, the Malawi only produced 1.4M tonnes of food when they required 1.8M tonnes for their population, a deficit of 23%. While the total deaths due to starvation were 500-1000 people, the root cause has not been addressed by the international community and Malawi. Only ~2% of the farming land is irrigated and relies heavily on the weather conditions delivering what is needed to yield adequate crops. While using genetically modified corn helps alleviate the short term problems, it does not address the longer problem of self sufficiency of the Malawians. During these times of famine, the government of Malawi needs to accept short term solutions while planning for long germ fixes.

The criticisms by the European Union over the use of genetically modified corn are valid. They have full right to deny this crop as it represents something that has no come naturally. The full burden of responsibility should come from Monsanto and proving that their product is as safe as natural corn. In 2012, new studies have shown that rats that were fed the corn or drank water with the appropriate levels of pesticide were more likely to develop tumors and/or die early than those fed natural substances. And to further support the ban on genetically modified corn, Russia has decided to abandon using genetically modified corn for the time being until this study can be validated or invalidated.

Malawi does not have many solutions to solve their famine problems. While long term studies show that rats are more at risk to develop tumors, the short term problems is that thousands could die without proper nutrition. Malawi should accept the short term solution of genetically modified corn to offset their problems while using government funds to create better irrigation infrastructure in the...