Why we need GMO crops in agriculture

Mo Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;111(6):492-507.


Within 35 years (2049) the global population will reach an estimated nine billion people. This presents a massive challenge to agriculture: how do we feed all of these people with nutritious food in a sustainable way?

Presently the yields of most major crops are stagnating while the demand for food, both grain and animal protein, is growing. To meet the challenge of improving yields requires a constant commitment to generating a steady supply of improved cultivars and lines for all major crops. Conventional breeding cannot keep pace with what is required; to meet the targets biotechnology and the production of genetically-modified (GM) crops is filling the gap. However, there are still concerns as to the safety of GM crops for human consumption and the environment. In this review I explore the need for GM crops, the way they are produced, and their impact and safety.

The future is very promising for GM technologies to meet the future global needs for food feed and fiber in a sustainable and responsible way. GM crops are only one part of the solution. To meet the targeted yields, nutritional quality, and sustainable production, we need all of the tools at our disposal including conventional and organic food production systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Food Quality*
  • Food Supply*
  • Food, Genetically Modified*
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*