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Genetically Modified Food: Helpful Or Harmful

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As Rifkin  had said, “Many of the genetically modified foods will be safe, I’m sure. Will most of them be safe? Nobody knows”, it is quite true. In 2018, Dr. Mehmet Oz had invited guests to debate in his show on the topic of “Genetically Modified Food: Helpful or Harmful?”. In the beginning, Hirshberg, Van, and Brody have stated that GMOs can have negative effects on people. Some examples are transgenic plants that may cause noxious pollution to the environment, superbugs that are able to resist drugs in the agricultural fields, and other health-related contamination such as cancers and food poisoning. On the other hand, Bernhoft, Smith, McGloughlin, and the host have argued that GMOs also have some benefits as well. For instance, GMOs can help plants resist pesticides, increase the nutrients in the food, and contribute in drug production from the genetically modified plants. Although many people have argued about the safety of using GMOs, some people think in the same way as Hirshberg, Van, and Brody. Nonetheless, we totally agree with Bernhoft, Smith, and McGloughlin that genetically modified foods are beneficial to humankind in terms of providing more nutrients, helping the body to fight against health problems, and supporting the pharmaceutical industry development.

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The first and most important reason to support GMOs products is that genetically modified foods normally contain much more nutrients than dietary supplements. It can be said that GMOs not only have a lot of nutrition but also offer more benefits to consumers in the same amount as the normal food. According to Dr. Bernhoft , one of the reasons that GMOs are invented is to increase nutrients in plants. To illustrate, by genetically combining blueberries and tomatoes, the offspring may contain anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant that can prevent cancer. Moreover, Smith said that the GMOed rice called “Golden rice” contains a lot of beta-carotene which is required in some parts of the body to help build the immune system and skeletal metabolism. Therefore, we believe that humans may be able to gain more nutrients from GMOs plants. The following paragraph will discuss more about the resistance in pesticides of the GMOs products.

The next reason is that genetically modified foods, as mentioned before, are resistant to pesticides. Nowadays, many products sold to consumers are mostly full of contaminants, namely insecticides. Moreover, the consumption of contaminated food for a long time might affect the health in the long term due to the accumulation of toxins in the body. Although we may be able to clean the ingredients thoroughly before cooking, there is a possibility that we still might get some residues from the pesticides. Bernhoft supported that GMOs plants normally have the ability to resist harmful chemicals. For this reason, they are likely to be chemical-free due to the fact that there are no contaminants in them. Furthermore, the consumption of GMOs would be an alternative way to avoid the contamination. The last body paragraph will clarify more about the development in the pharmaceutical industry from using GMOs products.

The last important reason is that genetically modified foods help develop the pharmaceutical industry. As mentioned earlier, the GMOs, which have their genes modified with chemicals, are plausible to yield more nutrients than normal crops. From our point of view, GMOs can contribute in producing more effective drugs, that contain many advantageous nutrients such as protein, hormones or antibodies which contributes the pharmaceutical industry development since they are the precursors in many productions of numerous drugs. From the study of INB Biotechnologies, a company in Philadelphia, United States, they have discovered a nontoxic anthrax vaccine through the experimentation involving petunias by adding proteins in the flowers to develop antibodies that can fight anthrax bacterium. Besides, medicines developed from GMOs can be used for healing wounds, treating cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver and anemia, and fighting with cancer, rabies, cholera and foot-and-mouth disease. Thereby, we believe that genetically modified foods can be useful for humans.

All in all, although many people are concerned that the use of genetically modified foods is unacceptable to human beings, we personally concur that we would gain more benefits from GMOs which are the increased nutrition, pesticide resistance in plants as well as medicines manufactured from GMOs. It is undeniable that food consumption is one of the significant factors for humans to survive, nevertheless, we could benefit a lot from genetically modified foods. In fact, if there was much effort put in the research and development, it would doubtless offer an abundance of advantages to mankind in the present and for future generations. 

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