Are GMOs feeding the world? 7 facts about hunger and poverty

GMO corn not feeding poor

“Just look at the ever-growing world population… GMOs are the only hope we have of feeding the world!”

This statement is one of the most-repeated phrases in support of genetically engineered food. It’s typically backed by claims about GMOs “increasing yield, reducing pesticides, tolerating drought, and containing more nutrients.”

We invite you to investigate the facts behind these claims…

Huge wheat field 2

Fact 1: here in the U.S., where vast tracts of land are devoted to agriculture, where the majority of this land is planted with GMO crops, where the world’s largest and most successful ag-bio corporation responsible for GMOs is based, one in six Americans is facing hunger. Monsanto’s “feed the world” mantra isn’t even succeeding in its own country.

food in dump

Fact 2: the problem is not a lack of food—the world already produces more than enough food—the problem is poverty.

Child poverty

Fact 3: one in five U.S. children is living in poverty—giving the United States the highest child poverty rate of any developed nation except for Romania. View more recent poverty data here.

Rising price of cornFact 4: corporate control of food is dramatically increasing the cost of food. The chart at right represents the rising cost of corn, during the same timeframe that corn began to be genetically engineered, patented, and owned by huge ag-biotech companies like Monsanto.

Fact 5:  the ever-increasing cost of food exacerbates poverty. As stated on the World Bank website (an organization dedicated to the global reduction of poverty), “Food price rises create macro vulnerabilities, particularly for countries with a high share of food imports and limited [physical] space, as well as overall global increases in poverty.”

Corporate control of seeds, patents, farmer contracts, and third world agriculture systems does not improve poverty. It improves corporate profit margins.

Monsanto stock chart

Corporate profit vs labor

More profits > fewer employees > rising unemployment > less income + higher food prices = more poverty. While the problem is admittedly far larger than genetically engineered food,  it’s clear that corporate control of our food system is not improving world hunger… instead, corporate control appears to be exacerbating it.

In the case of Monsanto and several of the other leading ag-bio corporations, their profits come from more than just seeds and crops: the vast majority of GMOs are engineered to withstand weedkillers like RoundUp, the sales of which have skyrocketed as weeds continue to evolve resistance to the chemicals. (Remember, most of world’s ag-bio companies were chemical companies before they “remade” themselves into “agriculture solution” companies).

Unexpected sources of corn

Fact 6:  GMO crops are not being used to “feed the world.” View a synopsis of what GMO corn is used for: the overwhelming majority is a) converted into a wide variety of additives and ingredients used in fast / pre-made / processed food, b) fed to animals raised for meat*—which is purchased primarily by middle and upper class families, c) converted into ethanol to fuel cars—also purchased primarily by middle and upper class families, and d) converted into fast food containers and utensils. None of these uses has any positive impact on world hunger.

*Grain-fed beef, pork and chicken are typically fed GMO grain, unless specifically raised as certified organic and/or 100% grass-fed.

Corn Yield USDA

Fact 7:  The related claim about GMO crops bearing “higher yields” as a justification for feeding the world is also false. Study after study has proven that GMO crop yield is no greater than conventional crops, and in the case of soybeans, it’s less.

Causes include soil degradation due to the increased use of chemicals, increasing insect resistance to the crops that were genetically engineered to resist insects, and increasing weed resistance to weedkillers (which crops were genetically engineered to tolerate).

In summary: corporate control of food is not benefiting world hunger… it’s benefiting corporate profit margins.

*True price of food: the cost without tax subsidies (link to video).

ADDITIONAL READING:

Understand the poverty crisis in this sobering case study from New York City:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/invisible-child/#/?chapt=1

Discover who’s really buying “cheap” fast food (it’s not the poverty-stricken population):
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/5673

STAY INFORMED:

Follow GMO Awareness for more news about GMOs, organic food, nutrition, agriculture and the impacts on our health and the environment:
https://www.facebook.com/gmoawarenessusa

12 thoughts on “Are GMOs feeding the world? 7 facts about hunger and poverty

      • Aloha From Hawaii; Lies, is what they are good at. On Hawaii…Big Island, people got together & protested till we got it banned from our Island.. We lost our Papayas, before we could do anything about it. We still have some corn, that’s it, no more after that… Now the fight is on Oahu, so many acres they got, it’s SICK, now the people are busy on that Island. Our Council listened to the People 2 times, passed what the People Wanted. Then Our Great Mayor signed it into Law… We are Lucky to a point.

        We have a lot of Coffee Growers here that use Round Up, & that has to go to. Don’t use any chemicals on any plants… Funny living on an Island, I try to remember what did they do without all these bad things, we are going back to that, so get ready growers…People want good Coffee, I don’t drink it, but I know it goes down to our water table and runs off to our Ocean, not good for those animals either, best none at all.

        Read Labels of all you eat, I go by if I can’t say it, don’t get it. Natural Flavors, what is that? Be Truthful tell the Truth. We eat no Soybeans either. People here use Soybeans a lot, sad. People lived to this time, what did they do in Westerns Time? We want good Healthy Food from out Farmers, not food we can not eat or we will be very sick. Seen the pictures of rats with tumors hanging out of there bodies, that alone makes you not want to eat anything with that in it.

        How can you own any food? Isn’t it everyone’s food, so how can anyone/Corp. own FOOD????? No you can’t do that.

        Now when you talk about plants and mix two plants to change colors, shapes, you can put your name on it and own it, you changed it, you can be the only one that has the right to that plant–we don’t eat them, they are not food. Think you can change food and its for the better, you are wrong, so stop.

        Read a piece yesterday a farmer put all his money into the bad GMO seeds, all the plants died, none grew at all. So he has to get good seeds and try again? Did he make his soil-dirt bad? Time will tell. There are 129 Countries that will not let any GMO-seeds, or GMO plants into their Country, what does that tell you?

        Be Smart, join the Truth & care about our Future. Or we will all suffer……. Love Truth, Oz Eat what God gave us to eat… not Monsanto…

  1. Let us not forget either that GMO BT corn feed is responsible for the decrease in longevity in our livestock. Cattle fed this tripe have an average TOTAL life span of 180-185 days before it kills them. Swine 30-35 days. Why on earth would We want our food to be poisoned in such a manner and then consume it? I sure as hell DONT want this garbage any longer , how about you???.

  2. PEOPLE WHO VOTE ON THIS ISSUE SHOULD ONLY BE ALLOWED TO VOTE IF THEY KNOW THE FACTS. TOO MANY UNINFORMED VOTERS ARE AT THE POLES…CHIPPING AWAY AT IGNORANCE IS A HUGE TASK. KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK.

  3. Pingback: gmo facts | somemiddleground

  4. Pingback: Kids Right To Know | 10 Reasons Why Golden Rice Won’t End World Hunger

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