UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Do you believe that genetically modified crops may be a viable solution in areas of the world with challenging climates?
Question Date: 2013-02-26
Answer 1:

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.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use