That's a great question. Genetically
modified (GM) crops are being designed to resist
pests, increase water and/or nutrient use
efficiency (so decreasing irrigation and
fertilizer needs), and be more productive (more
fruit/grain per energy invested). So in theory,
GM crops can help areas of the world with
challenging climates (e.g. drought). However,
there are lots of unknowns about GM crops (e.g.
whether they will cross breed with wild species,
whether they have tradeoffs between a modified
trait and their natural traits, whether they
negatively effect the health of humans or other
species-such as pollinators) that makes the
cost/benefit analysis of using them difficult to
assess. In that sense, deciding whether GM crops
are a viable solution in areas of the world with
challenging climates will depend upon the
specific crop, the GM trait that is being
targeted, and the region.
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