Deakin Communicating Science 2016

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Time for GMOs to feed the world

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2014-2016, approximately about “795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment”. Which is cause by many factors including:

  • Lack of resources
  • An extremely unequal income
  • Conflict
  • Hunger itself
  • Large world population
  • As well as climate change (drought, flooding etc)(Worldhunger 2015)

Changing the photosynthesis pathway

According to, by 2050 the world population reach to 9.6 billion (UN 13 june 2013) and current the world population is 7.4 billion(worldometers 2016).

As the population grow, the demand of the foods also high.

Therefore increasing the production of agricultural is the main priority, by changing the leaf’s anatomy using genetic modified.


“Globally we need to increase food production by 70%over the next 30 to 40 years to feed the burgeoning population” said Professor Robert Furbank.(H.b 12 April 2016)


C4 plants have higher quantum efficiency of co2 uptake than C3 plants (produce greater yield than C3 plants)(Ehleringer and Björkman 1977).

Professor Robert Furbank, working on improving the crop yields and performance (especially wheat).

By modified the structure of wheat’s leaf into C4 photosynthesis pathway (CO2 diffusion pathway)(F 2016).

Malnutrition fighter (Golden rice)  

An approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children every year, lack vitamin A become blind and ½ of them dying within a year of losing their sight, according to world health organization(WHO 2016).

The main purpose of introduced golden rice is to “save life”, was developed in the early 1990s (Medicine 18 May 2009).

Rice is the main food and provide to hundreds of million of people. However, it lacks a few important nutrients for maintenance our health including vitamin A.

In order to defeat vitamin A deficiency, genetic engineering inserted beta-carotene (our body convert beta-carotene into vitamin A) into rice endosperm, which does not occur natural by itself, with the aim to combat micronutrient malnutrition. (Beyer, Al-Babili et al. 2002)

The choice is YOURs!

As we all know, food is very important for human, “we eat to live”. As the world population growing, the demand of the foods also increasing.

GMOs play an important role for responsible of the foods’ demand by manipulate the plant’s gens in order to increase the crop yields and its performances.

At the same time, it also caused a huge stir from political, social and ethical issues.(Akumo, Riedel et al. 2013)

GMOs caused plenty of advantaged as well as disadvantage, some of them are covered in this blog and many of them are not cover.

From my own perspective, one of the main benefits of GMOs is to “feed the starving population”.

On the other hand, difference people have difference perspective, so yeah the decision is yours!!!



Akumo, D. N., et al. (2013). Social and Economic Issues-Genetically Modified Food, INTECH Open Access Publisher.


Beyer, P., et al. (2002). “Golden rice: Introducing the β-carotene biosynthesis pathway into rice endosperm by genetic engineering to defeat vitamin A deficiency.” The Journal of nutrition 132(3): 506S-510S.


Ehleringer, J. and O. Björkman (1977). “Quantum yields for CO2 uptake in C3 and C4 plants dependence on temperature, CO2, and O2 concentration.” Plant Physiology 59(1): 86-90.


F, R. (2016). “Robert Furbank, Centre Director “. from


H.b, L. (12 April 2016). “Feeding the world by sunthesizign change: Turbocharging crops by changing the way they convert sunlight into food.” from


Medicine, B. C. o. (18 May 2009). “Golden Rice An Effective Scource Of Vitamin A.” from


UN (13 june 2013). “World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050.” from


WHO (2016). “Micronutrient deficiencies “. from


Worldhunger (2015). “2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics.” from hunger facts 2002.htm – Number_of_hungry_people_in_the_world.


worldometers (2016). “current world population.” from




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This entry was posted on May 9, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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