Are GMOs really important to feed the world’s growing population?
By 2050, we may need to grow twice as much food with the same resources to keep up with population growth – 2 billion more people. GMOs can be an important solution to this challenge and help protect the environment.
Even in the first 18 years of GMOs being available, without GM seeds, more land would have been needed to grow the same amount of crops (see estimates below). This could have meant and could mean in the future turning protected and conserved lands into farms without the use of GM seeds.
The PG Economics seventh annual report on crop biotechnology impacts states that, “if crop biotechnology had not been available to the (15.4 million) farmers using the technology in 2010, maintaining global production levels at the 2010 levels would have required additional plantings of 5.1 million ha of soybeans, 5.6 million ha of corn, 3 million ha of cotton and 0.35 million ha of canola. This total area requirement is equivalent to 8.6 percent of the arable land in the US, 23 percent of the arable land in Brazil or 25 percent of the cereal area in the EU (27). Being that the amount of arable land is fixed, the need for increased planting would likely have pulled fragile marginal lands and tropical forests into production.'