HKDSE Geography/M5/Biotechnology

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In MDCs[edit]

Effectiveness[edit]

  • It can modify crops to become drought-resistant so they require less water for farming and can adapt to local climatic conditions. However, it cannot change climatic conditions or increase water supply.

In LDCs[edit]

Problems[edit]

  • The increase in food production depresses food prices. This reduces the farmers' income and makes it harder to accumulate capital for buying patents, pesticides and chemical fertilisers for GM food production. Farmers are often in debt. This pushes farmers to farm more intensively, creating a vicious circle. As the land's carrying capacity is eventually exceeded, environmental degradation occurs.
  • Genes may pass to surrounding organisms, creating superbugs and superweeds. Thus the crops are more subject to weeds and pests.
  • Monoculture and smaller gene pool makes crops more vulnerable to natural hazards like droughts.

Why are they unwilling to accept GMOs?[edit]

  • LDCs think GM food harm their citizens' health
  • They have political conflicts with MDCs, think MDCs are just trying to solve their food shortage problem
  • They do not wish to rely on food imports and think it is not a long-term or self-sustaining solution
  • GMOs cannot really increase food productivity