Hunger

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  • Publicado : 18 de septiembre de 2010
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Beginning their article with an anecdote about beauty queens, Begley and Interdandi highlight how ending world hunger is a well known problem since Miss America about which little is done. They pointout that in 2008 about 900 million people, including 178 million children below five years of age suffered from malnutrition worldwide. Furthermore, according to a United Nation's estimate, 50, 000people starve to death every day. The authors state that the global community is currently seeking a solution to world hunger. One of the possible solutions is genetically modified grain such ashigh-yielding rice. The authors anticipate that genetically modified grains will become an effective solution in saving millions of people from starvation in the 21st century. However, a new study byagricultural experts from 60 countries predicts a limited role for biotech crops in reducing world hunger. These experts argue that foreign genes introduced into a plant's DNA are unpredictable and thatthese plants offer a lower yield than those bred without genetic engineering. Furthermore, the high cost of genetically modified seeds would mean their availability would be limited to farmers whocould afford them. The cost and benefits associated with reducing world hunger is illustrated in a statistic by the Copenhagen Consensus. This shows that although providing vitamin A and Zinc supplementsto all infants less than two years of age would cost 60 million dollars per year, it would result in one billion dollars worth of economic benefits. Despite this, Begley and Interdandi claim thatonly five percent of the land in Africa could be used to grow high yielding crops because of a lack of infrastructure and tools, and the high cost of fertilizers. However, the authors argue thatplanting nitrogen fixing trees may provide the soil with the necessary nutrients at a very low cost to farmers. An example of the success of genetically modified crops in reducing famine is that of Sauri,...
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