According to the Commission on Population, the Philippines will be home to 107.19 million people by the end of 2018. With the increasing number of Filipinos every year, food shortage is likely to happen in the future. Issues such as climate change especially rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns also pose a major challenge for sustainable agriculture and food security.
Experts and scientists strongly believe that a possible solution to address world hunger is biotechnology. Harnessing the potentials of biotechnology is a good option for a country to feed the hungry with minimal costs. Genetic engineering, though the most disputed among the major biotechnology tools, “can address problems that cannot be solved through conventional crop improvement methods”, according to a fact sheet from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
However, as Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug asked, “The more pertinent question today is whether farmers and ranchers will be permitted to use this new technology?” Despite the opposition of anti-GMO groups on its potential risks on the health and safety of its consumers such as the introduction of allergens into food products and antibiotic resistance, global food safety assessment and studies prove that genetically modified organisms do not pose any dangers to its end users.
The World Health Organization, for instance, declared that GM foods go through the global food safety process called Codex Alimentarius Risk Analysis of Foods Derived from Modern Biotechnology under which these foods are not found to be risky to human health. The US Food and Drug Administration also assured that “foods produced using genetic modification is as safe as foods produced using conventional breeding techniques” and that “Genetically modified foods are as safe as other foods available on the market.”
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