Can GM crops help food security?

Close to one billion people are chronically hungry and up to two billion lack food security intermittently due to varying degrees of poverty. The latter do not always have enough money to buy sufficient food, or if they are subsistence farmers, they may not harvest enough every year to adequately feed their families.

GM technology can contribute to food security but are not a panacea. GMOs’ benefits include:

  • increased yields (6%-30%) on the same amount of land
  • better incomes for farmers (GM technology helped alleviate poverty by helping 16.5 million small farmers, and their families totalling over 65 million people, who are some of the poorest people in the world)
  • crops that grow better in local conditions or are an important staple crop (for example the Water Efficient Maize for Africa which aims at developing a drought-tolerant maize, a staple that more than 300 million Africans depend on as their main food resource or the BioCassava Plus project which aims at improving the nutritional quality of cassava, the primary source of calories for over 250 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa)

Read more in EuropaBio’s factsheet on food security