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Affects on Other Countries

Roundup Ready Corn
Types of GM Corn
Affects on Other Countries
Progress in this Field
The Next Step
Photo Album

       There are many challenges that developing countries face before they can plant genetically modified corn. There needs to be funding in order to distribute this corn to struggling countries who are unable to obtain it on their own. It takes a lot of money to bring genetically modified crops into the market. The public and corporation concerns are blocking biotechnology from entering developing countries. Collaborations between public and private sectors may be the only way to get around these issues.
     Genetically modified corn has been found in wild maize in Mexico. Up to 70% of Mexican maize may now carry transgenes that come from genetically modified crops. Scientist are very concerned about the effects that this could have on corn, since Mexico is the birthplace of domestic corn. The foreign genes in this corn can boost the resistance to pests and drought but it could also make them tolerant to chemicals that can kill weeds. Wild maize used to hold a special diversity but now it is diminishing. This wild corn used to be used to choose beneficial genes to add to other corn varieties.
     In a study done on varieties of maize corn in Oaxaca, Mexico to test for two different types of genetically modified corn. Five out of the seven types tested positive for genenetically modified material.
     The transgenes were never supposed to move to other corn. Now that this problem has occured an immediate action is needed.   
     Many people believe that genetically modified corn would help the people of sub-Sahara Africa survive famine. Popualtion growth has caused an urgent need for food. The rate of malnutrition is one of the worst in the world and it is expected to get worse if something is not done.
     Agriculture is a major part of the economy. Most of the GDP and exports come from agriculture. Therefore the improvment of agriculture prodcuctivity is vital to insure future prosperity and allow food to be abundant and affordable.
     Biotechnology is the answer since it would increse food  production and be sustained in the future, even with diminishing land and water resources. Normally crop production is limited by crop pests and diseases. this would not be the case with GM crops. A type of GM Corn used in South Africa produces it's own protection against the corn borer. Biotechnology is also helping to make a more nutritious strain of corn.
     Some individuals are concerned that the Gene Revolution might by pass Africa. There is a fine line between using technology to enhance trade and jepordizing trade.

Created by: Heidi 2005