Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Genetically Modified organisms are foods manufactured by introducing genetic material or DNA for different organisms through a process called genetic engineering(GMOs) good that have been modified through this process is rice, corn and wheat the list continues but they are at a major boom over the past decades. GMO foods provide a greater abundance of food with half the work.There is an abundance of GMO foods not just the ones listed above the most recent available food are plants like fruits and vegetables giving an even wider variety to pick and cook from so someone’s diet isn’t limited to just 3 things , which can get boring over time .Genetically modified foods can increase nutritional values and even enhance the flavor of the product produced. Genetically modified foods contribute to the lesser cost consumers which helps countries in poverty have a chance to enjoy the food as well. GMO foods aren’t expensive, which is important for countries that don’t have the funds to feed everyone. GMOs can also ensure that more people have access to quality, quantity and nutritious foods.
One main reason why GMO foods should be used is because it’s fairly safe and FDA approved ( Food and Drug Administration). There is some controversy over the benefits and risks of GMOs but they serve a high benefit value over the risks researched.Genetic engineering techniques have been developed for over 30 years and in the study and perfection of GMO foods they have become commercially available and widely adopted. (GM) crops are being grown over 20% of Earth’s arable land. Some people worry that the DNA put in the food may be harmful but in plants one or more genes coded for desirable traits and they are inserted if they are comparable. Also the gene may come from similar or even the same plant species. Genetic engineering allows direct gene transportation across the species boundaries and some traits that are previously difficult and even impossible to breed can finally be developed with ease with the help of science.
In the United States of America (USA) , Genetically Modified Crops have become very widespread over the country and they have been around for many years . An enormous total of 93% or more of all corn and soy crops are modified by some sort of engineering. If varies from longer shelf life ,keeping bugs away without using harmful pesticides that damage the environment and even keeping the plants from rotting or getting brown spots around them. If (GM) crops were so harmful, why are they so wide spread and accepted by so many consumers. (GM) crops increased global production by 357.7 million tons of corn , 180.3 million tons of soybean , 25.5 million tons of cotton fiber and about a ton of sugar beet . The list continues but that’s just an example of how widespread GM crops have gotten and still continue to grow.
Genetically Modified crops have a significantly longer shelf life which is good for manufacturers because they can travel further distances with foods without the fear of it spoiling or going bad over a long period of time . Traveling times can be extended through months and food does spoil and gets ruined which isn’t able to be consumed but humans. This also is a major benefit for third world countries that are being provided and are trying to be provided the means of food to survive. Third world countries don’t have electronics or refrigerators to keep their food edible over long periods of time so GMO foods provide them with that leverage that they need in between meals. (GM) fruits can have a shelf life up to 45 days with keeping their original firmness when they first were picked and shipped off . Fresh food does make a difference in people’s lives and they should be able to get it just like everyone else .
Genetically Modified crops can produce a natural insecticide ( inside parts of the plant that pests eats) This protects the yields of these crops against insect infestation , which is arguably more environmentally friendly than using spray that could be toxic and even harmful to the people that ingest the (GM) foods and other organisms around them which could kill the insects and even the plant if not done properly. Crops of this type are likely to be useful , but they should increase the number of insecticide genes that are being used to prevent evolution of resistant pests which would be not only scary but extremely bad for crop growth.
Genetically Modified Organisms can be used in the fight to make plants more disease resistant. There have been past outbreaks of disease in crops that have been shipped overseas or harvested in certain areas of the world that don’t take the highest safety precautions when it comes to human consumption. Many plants are vulnerable to an infection because farmers can not detect the invading parasite or virus. However , the proteins that identify and infection and activate a sort of defense mechanism can be implemented as moved into different species of more vulnerable crops .
These Crops are not just being genetically modified to improve their quantity but also their nutritional level which is needed in countries that don’t have a large variety to pick from . The most prominent of these is the “golden rice” . Many people die because of vitamin A deficiency which promotes growth and health. It approximately kills 250,000 deaths per year and is common in populations whose diet is heavily dependent on the intake of rice such as third world countries and less fortunate people living around the world. Golden rice is golden because it produces large quantities of yellow dietary carotenoids that have strong cancer-fighting properties, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine which our bodies can convert into Vitamin A. Which is essential to vision , normal growth and development of children.
Although there are many pros to GMO foods there are ultimately disadvantages of it as well just like anything in this world. Such as tempering with the genetic makeup of plants may result in the changes of the food supply , seed could not make as much as needed which could be a problem and cost more money . Also they introduce toxins or even trigger allergic reactions to people with allergies. Three major health risks that are potentially associated with genetically modified foods are : toxicity , allergenicity and genetic hazards from adding and taking out deoxyribonucleic acid aka DNA or the genetic makeup of the produce.
Some people believe that genetically modified foods have more potential to trigger allergic reactions because of the additional traits added in .This is because they may contain genes from an allergen which is a good that prompts an allergic reaction in the human body. The World Health Organization also known as (WHO), frown upon genetic engineers from using DNA from allergens unless they can prove that the gene itself does not cause the problem. It’s worth recording that there has not been any reports of allergic effects of any GMO gods currently on the market or on shelves in stores for human consumption.
Some researchers believe that eating GMO foods can contribute to the development of cancer . They argue that because the disease is caused by mutations in DNA , it’s dangerous to introduce new genes into the body. The American Cancer Society also known as (ACS) have said that there is no evidence for this so there’s no need to completely change your diet. However , they note that no evidence of harm is not the same as proof of safety and that reaching a conclusion will require more research to get a valid answer and conclusion to the concern at hand and the risk it may have on people over time.
There is concern that genetic modification , that can boost a crops resistance to disease or make it more tolerant to herbicides could affect the ability of people to defend themselves against illness they may catch due to the lack of immune strength. There is a small chance that the genes in food can transfer to cells the body or bacteria in the stomach .Some GMO plants contain genes that make them resistant to certain antibiotics. This resistance could pass on to humans making it close to impossible to treat someone who has become ill due to the genetically modified foods that have been consumed over a period of time.
Certain GM crops harm the environment through the increased use of toxic herbicides and pesticides. Since herbicide-resistant GM crop varieties were developed in 1996 , an “epidemic of super weeds” has developed resistance to the herbicides that GM crops were designed to tolerate. Those weeds are choking crops on over 60 million acres of US croplands , and the solution being presented to farmers is to use more herbicides. This has led to a tenfold increase in the use of weed killer Roundup , which is made by Monsanto, the largest GMO seed producer.
The increased use of the weed killer such as glyphosate can harm pollinating insects like bees, by killing them which would cause plants to not be able to produce foods that people can consume ,and potentially create health risks for humans if eating traces of herbicides used on GM crops. When glyphosate is used near rivers , local wildlife is impacted. The use of Roundup, an insect killing spray , whose active ingredient is glyphosate , can lead to higher mortality rates among amphibians as well . Scientists blame Roundup for a ninety percent decrease in the United States monarch butterfly population. Further explaining why genetically modified crops are harmful ,toxic to the environment and insects that help the production of crops with fruits . A report from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network found that Gm crops have also had a number of impacts on biodiversity. Herbicide-tolerant crops reduce weed diversity in and around fields , which in turn reduces habitat and food for other important species causing the migration of animals that are important to the community which would cause a bigger problem later on down the line .
Even though crops have been genetically modified , they still grow the same as other crops. There isn’t a change in the crops’ growth through its processes most people get that confused and think it’s unnatural which makes them push back from using them . This indicates that pollination is still needed to happen so as the crop can produce the intended “fruit” . For instance , bees play a major role in pollination, meaning they get exposed to the genetic transformations that occur in the crop. The seeds that are produced can sometimes be extended to other agricultural lands this contaminating them causing more and more plants to take on the traits of genetically modified foods which are good and bad in ways . For example if a company is advertising there crop is one hundred percent organic and non pmo implemented and pollination accrued, with the transportation of gmo crop could be fatal to the company and its credibility which is cross pollination .There Is no result that can be predicted for both farms , although soybeans are an exemption because they do not cross pollinate do companies that grow this crop wouldn’t be at risk.
All in all Genetically modified organisms and food should be used to provide better eating habits and better nutritional values to people who aren’t able to get these resources for themselves. These Genetically Modified foods will provide a higher calorie intake for people who don’t have a large quantity or variety of foods to pick from. A couple types of tasty genetically modified foods can provide the needed nutrition and calorie intake for people in less fortunate countries so the load of life can be lifted slightly by them not having to worry so much on what they are going to eat and is it enough to keep them alive.