HONOURABLE MENTION

Are GMO'S The Key To Solving World Hunger?

I will be researching to prove the fact that GMO's are not the key to solving World Hunger.
Aadya Tahlyan
Grade 7

Problem

Everyday, there is a new invention, from the Polio Vaccine to finding the cure to Covid-19. We all think of benefits given to us, but we never think about the drawbacks. Well, the same is happening with the growth of genetically engineered foods. For example, everybody knows that golden rice can be an excellent choice to prevent blindness in children, but have you ever though about how expensive the seeds are and that the rice after all of its growth still does not provide a good amount of beta-carotene, a pigment which converts into a source of vitamin A. Golden rice is not the only example, there are many more foods like this one out there. If you think about it, so much money is being wasted, all just for one percent health out of a hundred, just to give a number.

Method

One of the many reasons GMO foods cannot solve world hunger is the price. As I was researching, I found that one packet of regular seeds such as for corn or soybean, can cost between $25 to $50. Whereas, one packet of genetically modified seeds (any type), may cost around $150 more than a normal seeds. An example may be cannabis, marijuana to be specific. A packet of natural marijuana can cost $35 to $40. Though, if getting a packet of geneticlly modified marijuana, it can cost around $300! Both products have a difference of approximately $200. So, if all regular and modified products are compared, normal foods are much cheaper. Then, if thought about the prices, if farmers don't donate or give normal produce to food banks, and even if they do, it is part of all of the produce. Then, logically thinking, farmers would not provide the expensive foods for donation. Meaning, that world hunger cannot be solved by growing genetically modified foods, which is the complete opposite of what is said by many politicians and scientists. An example which proves that organizations are still impartial comes from the website of United Nations, who say, "Genetically modified crops possessing genes from different species, could possibly relieve global food shortages." This sentence clearly they think it is possible, but are not completely positive about the concept. The next reason is related to human health, as if modified foods were provided, how would they affect the people's health. As known there are quite a few disadvantages of growing modified plants, but what about eating them? Health risks include toxicity, allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, cancer, and loss of nutrition. All of these infections or diseases are extremely poor for your health. Some recognizable illnesses from this list include cancer and antibiotic resistance. Many of us know that different foods may be consumed to kill an infection or bacteria, though imagine if the bacteria itself eliminates the antibiotic and keeps on growing. Now think of that same situation happening to your body. Well, that is another one of many reasons why genetically modified is not safe, therefore may not help solve world hunger.

Research

While finding facts to prove my argument, I came upon many opinions and articles. My research has shown me that there isn't one way of helping people but many. For example, genetically modification is not necessary to help solve world hunger. There are many other ways. All help starts from an idea and ends with helping thousands of people survive. One way we can help with providing food for others is by growing plants in our backyards. Yes, this sounds like hard work, and it is. Though, if we plant foods in our backyard, then we can give natural foods to the needy and it won't affect anybody's body in a bad way, unless they are allergic to something (of course!). This way we can help people without thinking about if others will, such as farmers providing food. Another way may be to reduce wastage of food. As we all know, everytime after we have finished our dinner some goes in the big trash can. We throw away at least 2.2 million tons of food every year in Canada. Which if the cost is aaded up, it ends up costing Canadians around $17 billion, every single year! So, thinking about different ways to help instead of one may be more beneficial to world than you think.

Data

Price Difference In Regular And GMO Seeds

Genetically Modifed Seeds / Foods

Regular Seeds / Foods                    

Marijuana Seeds - $300

Marijuana Seeds - $35 - $40

Corn Seeds - $150

Corn Seeds - $25 - $50

Summary  -   Clearly there is a large difference in the cost of these different produce items.

Conclusion

As all the numbers and facts, as well as opinions, show GMO foods are not the finest to save our beautiful world from hunger issues. Without ambiguity, genetically modified foods are not the ideal way to help the starving millions of people. If we use other ways, we can make sure that humanity is healthy and not getting diseases as well as providing healthy meals to help them survive without thinking about where their next meal will be found. A healthy ecosystem may be founded if gmo plants are not grown as it has destroyed many wild areas. Including the monarch butterflies' home in North America. The foods if eaten by animals could crossbreed, making different types of wildlife, which will definitely affect the environment and humans. Clearly, genetically modified foods are not the key to solving world hunger.

Acknowledgement

People who have given me the courage and helped me learn about my ability to work properly always are my parents and my science teacher. A big thanks to my teacher Ms. Alexis Watson, because she told me that I was on the right track and that gave me the courage to continue with my project and not give up. I appreciate my parents who encouraged me to continue and try as hard as I could. I wouldn't have been able to do this project without these heroes in my life, so thank you! And thank you to everybody who is judging even through this tough time, I appreciate you all taking the time and putting effort into checking our projects, thank you so much!

-Aadya Tahlyan