Genetically Modified Food Essay

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Genetically Modified Food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 868

  • Pages: 3

Genetically Modified Food

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, also known as USDA, in the United States more than 90% of soybeans, cotton, corn, and certain other crops are genetically engineered. GMOs are organisms that are introduced into plants or meat to alter their DNA. Their main purpose is to create food that can withstand many different environments and climates. The problem with GMO’s is that they have been shown to create health problems. For example, some substances have been shown to increase allergies and the risk of cancer. This is a huge problem for our country right now but what is being done? Do people really know that GMO’s are in their food? The US government should impose stricter regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) because GMOs have not been properly investigated. They pose numerous health risks to the consumers and large GMO corporations care only about the bottom line—profits—and do not have the consumer’s best interest in mind.

Regulations of GMOs have always been an issue from the very beginning. Since the Regan days, federal regulatory efforts have governed by what is known as the Coordinated Framework for regulation of Biotechnology. The Coordinated Framework of Biotech believes in the idea that overseeing GMOs requires no new laws. An example of poor regulation method is the new genetically modified (GM) type of Kentucky bluegrass that will be able to withstand the Roundup herbicide. The Approval was admitted by the US Department of Agriculture. The Plant Pest Act is the only regulation available to control GM crops. Which means that the USDA has no obligation to regulate GM Crops, the courts have no way of intervening an the biotech industry can do whatever it wants with absolutely no oversight at all. “According to Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment Program, the documents released by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) along with the announcement portend a major change in how the feds will deal with genetically modified crops.” (Philpott,Tom)

Even though a percentage of consumers believe that there should be stronger regulations on GMOs food the other half believes that genetically modified food should not be banned but closely monitored.(Meade, Conner) Conor Meade an Ecology professor at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth believes that the assessment of the ecological risk posed by GM is a bad idea. With environmental and health concerns over GM Food, there has not been any scientific evidence that has determined that they are not safe. This is the counter argument for why there should be continuing research on GM foods in the United States. We should not ban GM research but continue to investigate the health risk factors that GMO foods pose to the consumers.

There is an argument that states that Genetically Engineered Crops will feed the world, Jeffrey Scott. Believes Genetic Engineering Is Natural and Should Be persuade. Coker further states In the United States and elsewhere, more than 90% of soybeans, cotton, corn, and certain other crops are Already genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another example is “Bt” technology, which involves plants producing a protein from Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that is toxic to most insects. In Hawaii, for example, genetically engineered papaya trees have rescued the entire papaya industry. Researchers at the University of California-Riverside and the International Rice Research Institute have created varieties of rice that can withstand being submerged underwater for almost two weeks, which can save crops during years of flooding. Genetic engineering will allow crops of the future to be better tasting, more nutritious, more tolerant of environmental stresses, and less allergenic. Foods will also last longer before spoiling, allowing food to be distributed more easily.

Biotech industries claim that genetically engineered (GE) crops will help agriculture become mores sustainable and help stop world hunger. In reality, most GE crops are designed to allow more herbicides, such as Monsabto’s Roundup, which causes local farmers to use more toxic herbicides, not less. “A 2010 Chemical Research in Toxicology study found that glyphosate-based herbicides caused highly abnormal deformities and neurological problems in vertebrates. Another study found that glyphosate caused DNA damage to human cells even at lower exposure levels than recommended by the herbicide’s manufacturer.”( Debra A. Miller) By 2009, nearly all (93 percent) U.S. soybeans and four-fifths (80 percent) of corn cultivated were grown from seeds covered by Monsanto patents. Biotech corn seed prices increased 9 percent annually between 2002 and 2008; soybean seed prices rose 7 percent annually. By 2009, Roundup Ready soybean seeds cost twice as much as conventional seeds. Which makes you think how will developing countries afford the seeds or even consider GM seeds because of the health risk. Biotech companies also sued farmers that allegedly violated their patents. By 2007, Monsanto had filed 112 lawsuits against U.S. farmers for patent infringement, recovering between $85.7 and $160.6 million. Biotech companies are not solving the problem but inly making it worse. (Ed. Debra A. Miller)

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Genetically modified food Essay

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Genetically modified food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1734

  • Pages: 7

Genetically modified food

The past score of years has witnessed the astonishing revolution in the scope of plant breeding technologies. The biological technologies have regularly been utilized to create new gene combinations for progressing crop diversities. This intentionally modified by the manipulation of the DNA, and transformation of certain genes to create new variations of life, which called genetically modified (GM) food. There is presently some debate about whether to accept GM food. The disadvantages of GM food are labelling issue and transformation of certain genes might lead to environmental issues. Nevertheless, there are also a number of crucial advantages such as farmers could improve their economic benefits and GM food could improve the nutritional quality to prevent disease. Therefore, this essay will argue that GM food has obvious benefits to the society because it can improve economic benefits by trading and decrease allergenic.

GM food has some negative consequences for society. The main adverse effect is that GM food may has mandatory labelling scheme issues. Research has shown that some manufacturers realize that implement a mandatory labelling scheme could cost a fortune (Steiner 2000, p. 158; Uzogara 2000, p. 188). Moreover, labelling of GM food could remind consumer these products are biotech, and this could lead to customer losses (Uzogara 2000, p. 188). Then, the concept of mandatory labelling scheme for GM food in some countries is uncertainty (Steiner 2000, p. 158). For example, manufacturers use misleading and confusing labelling to muddle the consumer such as ‘may contain genetically modified material’ (Steiner 2000, p. 158). Indeed, labelling issue for GM food is extremely difficult to implement in some countries, governments may promulgate a series of legislation to implementation.

Secondly, transformation of new DNA technology used to create GM food that has environmental risks. This involves monarch butterfly early death and threatens beneficial insects, which would seriously destroy the balance of the ecosystem. Some species are suffering from premature death after insects fed by GM crops, and also this might result in difficulty in reproduction such as monarch butterfly and green lacewing insects (Steiner 2000, p. 153). Furthermore, Lemaux (2009, p. 528) has reported an experiment, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in genetically engineered (GE) corn pollen could lead to colony collapse disorder that accelerate the bees’ decline. It can be seen then that mandatory labelling scheme issue and environmental threats could give rise to some negative aspects for GM food.

If one looks closely at the literature on this topic, nevertheless, there are a number of significant advantage points to GM food. One of these is that GM food could improve farmers’ economic benefits. According to Uzogara (2000, p. 193), GM food could be converted from annuals to perennials that would increase crop yields during the year. Perennial crops would lead to increased labor allocation, reduced labor costs, decreased fertilizer use and cost of production for farmers to make more economic profits (Uzogara 2000, pp. 193-194). For example, according to USDA surveys from 2001 to 2003, 79% of US farmers who choose Bt corn to increase yields (Lemaux 2009, p. 536). He also states that the Zaragoza region is one of the three leading GE corn-growing regions in Spanish and has at least 11.8% yield increase. Indeed, the profitability of farmers’ growth is approximately $69 per acre per year higher than conventional farmers (Lemaux 2009, p. 536).

Especially, farmers in developing countries realized the most significant economic benefits from GM rice because large-scale farmers have higher yields and less infestation (Lemaux 2009, p. 536). This evidence shows that GF food farming is a potentially high profit margin business, and profitability often depends on factors relating to crop yield and pest infestation. Thus, GM food could change the status quo to achieve the highest profitability for farmers. Allied to this is the further advantage of GM food which could improve nutritional food quality. This involves nutritional content and health-enhancing properties of particular foods that might solve malnutrition and population health problems in developing countries. Uzogara (2000, p. 194) states that GM crops would help the population to reach their daily based requirements and prevent malnutrition.

For example, cassava has been genetically modified to have a higher nutrient value (Anon cited in Uzogara 2000, p. 194). Furthermore, the nutritionally enhanced crops like iron, vitamin A and Beta-carotene dense rice could help alleviate malnutrition (Bouis 2007, pp. 80-83). For instance, according to research, approximately three million preschool children in developing countries are suffering from vitamin A deficiency that could lead to visible eye damage, however, GM rice can increase vitamin A and iron which could prevent blindness (Bouis 2007, pp. 82-86; Ferber cited in Uzogara 2000, p. 194). It is clear that farmers could gain significant economic benefits through GM food because it would increase the yield and reduce labor costs, and nutritionally enhanced crops could help the population to prevent disease or malnutrition.

Consequently, although GM food as one kind of biological technologie can have some negative outcomes for labelling and environment issues, GM food arguably has more positive effects. The effect of global trading that is a significant benefit to improve economy. The USA is the dominant exporter of both GM soybeans and GM maize, which are account for 76% of GM maize and 50% of GM soybeans exports (Nielsen et al. 2003, p. 780). He also claims that high-income Asia is the main importer of GM maize and GM soybeans that are 41% and 30% respectively. Moreover, Nabradi & Popp (2011, p. 8) report that GM crops account for a great proportion from global trading that providing significant export profits for many countries. For example, The United States, Argentina and Brazil are the world’s three largest GM soybean and GM maize exporters with above 90% and 80% share of world soybean and maize trade (Nabradi & Popp 2011, pp. 9-10).

Similarly, the volume of global soybean trade increased from 85.4 to 87.9 million tonnes from 2009 to 2011, and the volume of global maize trade increased from 86 to 88.5 million tonnes in three years (Nabradi & Popp 2011, p. 10). They also indicate that China has significant soybean importing volume that from 46 to 49 million tonnes during three years. Further to this, eliminating allergens as a result of GM food has been one of the prominent concerns among food quality and human health. Allergenic foods usually contain multiple allergens, such as milk, soy, peanut, crustaceans, fish, egg and tree nuts. According to Herman (2003, p. 1318), using GM to remove intrinsic allergens from soybeans that present in thousands of processed and prepared foods in developed and developing countries. He also claims that eliminate allergens from GM soybeans that has high relationship to the development of GM crops, and transgenic soybeans is a first step in solving food allergies (Herman 2003, p. 1319).

Otherwise, the alternative GM method to remove the allergen from food, for instance, some experiments to use gene suppression technology attempts to reduce and/or eliminate allergens in rye and rice seed, and even use this measure to suppress an allergen in shrimp that is potentially dangerous to sensitive people (Herman 2003, p. 1319). Plausibly, GM food may eliminate allergen from all of food that would help people to stay away from food allergies. Although some argue that GM food may has some negative impacts to mandatory labelling scheme, there is considerable labelling of GM food still has positive impacts on consumer and manufacturers. Uzogara (2000, p. 188) claims that labelling for GM food would enable the consumer to avoid ethical, cultural, or religious reasons by certain foods.

For example, Jews and Muslims usually insist on Kosher and Halal foods because the purity of this food can be guaranteed, which not contain pig genes (Uzogara 2000, p. 187). He further maintains that product quality can be improved by labelling, for instance, improved favour, longer shelf-life, and build brand identity. Similarly, according to General Labelling Directive, labelling for GM food that means this can be guaranteed by European regulation, and consumer can trust the information on the products (Andersen 2010, p. 139). Furthermore, while some authors claim that GM food has negative impacts on environment, Uzogara (2000, p. 195) indicates that GM food has still environmental benefits include protection against plant diseases, improvement of saline soil, and herbicide tolerance.

GM food like tomatoes, squash and corn become virus resistant that against GM food destroying viruses or viral diseases (Uzogara 2000, p. 195). According to Bouis (2007, p. 80), GM crops can improve soil conditioning that is changing highly saline soils. Then, herbicides are effective against several target weeds also cuts conventional herbicide use significantly (Uzogara 2000, p. 195). While discussing GM food may has some negative impacts to mandatory labelling scheme and environment issues, the considerable positive consequences to improve global trading and remove intrinsic allergens can never be neglected.

In conclusion, GM food clearly has advantages on economy and human health. While GM food lead to the mandatory labelling scheme hard to implement and has threats to the environment, success in the labelled GM food let some consumer more easier to choose food and make the crops stronger to against different threats. Furthermore, GM food

References:
Andersen, LB 2010, ‘The EU rules on labelling of genetically modified foods: mission accomplished?’, European Food & Feed Law Review, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 136-143, viewed 8 November 2014.

Bouis, HE 2007, ‘The potential of genetically modified food crops to improve human nutrition in developing countries’, Journal of Development Studies, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 79-96, viewed 28 October 2014.

Herman, EM 2003, ‘Genetically modified soybeans and food allergies’, Journal Of Experimental Botany, vol. 54, no. 386, pp. 1317-1319, viewed 12 November 2014.

Lemaux, PG 2009, ‘Genetically engineered plants and foods: a scientist’s analysis of the issues (Part II)’, Annual Review Of Plant Biology, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 511-559, viewed 11 November 2014.

Nabradi, A & Popp, J 2011, ‘Economics of GM crop cultivation’, APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 07-19, viewed 10 November 2014.

Steiner, MP 2000, ‘Food flight – the changing landscape of genetically modified foods and the law’, Review Of European Community & International Environmental Law, vol. 9, no. 2, p. 152-160, viewed 11 November 2014.

Uzogara, SG 2000, ‘The impact of genetic modification of human foods in the 21st century: A review’, Biotechnology Advances, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 179-206, viewed 3 November 2014.

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Genetically Modified Food Essay

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Genetically Modified Food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1634

  • Pages: 7

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically engineered food is an epidemic all around the world. There are factors that make these types of foods undesirable for many reasons. Public opinions on how genetically engineered foods will effect the consumer market and farmers cannot afford the new seeds that are genetically altered. There are many cons of genetically engineered food that have long term and short term risks. Some risks have been found by scientists while other risks are still unknown and will remain so unless a researcher tests for them. These foods have become very common in America as well as other countries.

Almost every grocery store in the United States carries a wide array of food that has been genetically modified. Most of the genetically engineered foods in markets are not labeled to tell consumers they were altered in any way. Environmental risks are also a concern for genetically engineered food. Different animals, including farm animals or insects can be harmed from genetically engineered food. Genetically engineered food has negative effects on the human population. Genetically engineered food was first introduced into society in the early 1990’s.

Many people today do not know what kind of extensive research and development goes into making these types of foods. Sharon Palmer, a reporter, writes that genetic engineering is either “Doomsday tech” or “biotechnology for the future” (Palmer 1). The process of altering an organism completely changes the original organism and transforms it into something new. This new way of altering an organism’s genetic makeup bypasses common breeding methods used by scientists (Genetically Modified Foods 1).

The process of creating genetically altered food usually involves “identifying the genes governing a desirable characteristic in one organism, nd inserting them into another in the expectation that the trait will be transferred” (Genetically Modified Foods 1). Sometimes the process of creating these organisms does not work so scientists have to do the process over again until they get a transformed organism. In 1973 scientists were able to achieve using another organism as a vector which essentially was the beginning of the development of genetically engineered foods. Although genetically engineered foods were not fully introduced until the early 1990s, they were in the process of becoming what society knows today.

Newer techniques have been introduced that make it easier for gene insertion. This new method is the use of DNA bullets where “microscopic metal beads can be coated with DNA fragments, and then “fired” from a miniature gun into the host cell, where DNA may integrate into the genome” (Genetically Modified Foods 1). A few of the genetically engineered foods are soybeans, corn, canola, cotton, squash and papaya (Palmer 1). There are many other foods that people see on the shelves in grocery stores that may be genetically altered but these are some main ones. Statistics show that “an estimated 70 to 75 percent of all processed foods in U. S. rocery stores probably contain ingredients from GE plants” (Palmer 6). Many foods have been genetically altered to make them “better” or resistant to herbicides. Despite the fact that scientists consider these foods to be revolutionary there are hidden consequences to the development of such organisms. The public opinion on genetically engineered food is that it is not a good improvement. Many citizens believe that the introduction of altered foods is going to have negative side effects on everything. People feel that genetically engineered foods should not be put on the market until they have had adequate testing (Current Issues 3).

Many of the alterations done to food have not had extensive research conducted to find harmful effects that they might have on humans and animals. Any research that had been done usually had negative effects but scientists found a way to “throw out” the research so that it would not go against genetically engineered food. Andrew Simms states that the “evidence of harm is not evidence of the absence of harm” (Simms 1). In Simm’s article he describes how consumers do not need genetically modified food. Scientists brought genetically engineered foods into the market and advertised them as a way to help the world.

Different techniques can be used to approach the issue of world hunger. Introducing these foods to third world countries can only harm them not help them. There is a high cost of development for making genetically engineered foods. Also there is a monopoly involved with these foods. There are only a few corporations in the United States that are developing genetically altered seeds. This in turn drives up the price of the seed making it more expensive and poor farmers cannot afford to buy them (Current Issues 3). Farmers have lost billions of dollars because foreign buyers do not want to buy genetically engineered foods (Kupfer 1).

Many states have passed legislation against having genetically modified foods. States do not think that genetically engineered foods can help anything except make things worse (Kupfer 2). Foods are altered to have different traits that would normally take a few generations to make but with genetically engineering their DNA scientists are able to do a lot more. Scientist use genetic engineering to make crops or animals drought tolerant and be able to tolerate pests. Consumers do not want crops that are mutations. They want natural crops and animals.

Other public opinions on worldwide hunger are that GM crops will not change it. “People go hungry because they’re either poor, powerless, both, or have no land to grow food on” (Simms 2). Public opinion on genetically engineered food is that they do not want it. Many factors have led people to choose not to accept genetically engineered foods into their lives. Genetically engineered food effects everything in a negative way. There are cons to the development and introduction of genetically engineered foods into civilization. There are many risks involved with these types of foods that are unknown to the public.

Scientists try to cover up the experiments they had on genetically altered foods because they had negative outcomes. In one study scientists fed corn to rats and then checked the rats’ livers and kidneys, particularly males, and the study revealed adverse effects. In another study conducted on GM foods many of the mice that ate the food developed health problems or even died during the experiment (Current Issues 4). The introduction of genetically engineered foods has been linked to the rising levels of food allergies in the United States. Genetically modified foods can effect organic foods if they are processed in the same place.

Allergic reactions are greater since genetically engineered foods have been introduced (Smith 1). There are many environmental concerns as well. Although long term impact is unknown many researchers can conclude some of the negative side effects. A few difficulties have already developed. Plants can cross-pollinate with other plants around them which may seem like a great thing but it is not. Some plants are engineered to be pest resistant which seems good but in all actuality those plants can cross-pollinate with the weeds around them which in turn makes the weeds stronger and become more resistant to herbicides.

The cross-pollination of plants creates a problem for farmers who then have to spend additional money to buy more herbicide to kill new weeds (Current Issues 3). Another common modification is adding a gene called Bacillus thuringiensis which is a bacterium that helps that plant develop poison that kills pests such as bollworms and stem borers. This seemed like a good modification by scientists but in fact the plant emits these toxins into the environment and it is deadly to all insects, not just the pests. Reports have been shown that these toxins from the crops also killed a large amount of butterflies (Current Issues 1).

U. S. Government does not require reviews on genetically engineered foods. Genetically altered foods are not FDA regulated either. Foods are being modified without having adequate testing and then put on grocery shelves. People are eating food that they do not know whether or not it is safe. There are many other potential concerns with genetic engineering like an organisms genetic makeup, anti-nutrients, viral DNA, antibiotic resistant genes, absorbing genes, and allergic responses. Many genetically altered foods have been used as feed for animals as well.

These animals have shown effects on body growth, changes in blood, kidney, pancreas, liver, erosion and necrosis of the gastrointestinal tract, and alterations in reproduction, development and mortality (Palmer 6). There are many unknown risks of genetically engineered foods. Unknown long term health risks have not been identified and cannot be identified until researchers conduct more research. Genetically modified foods are not something people should rely on in the future as their base food. There are risks today and also many other unknown risks. Genetically engineered food is a hazard to the human population.

This creation was introduced to try and stop world hunger, make food cheaper to buy and many other reasons. These issues have not changed because of the introduction of genetically engineered food. The effects these types of foods have on humans and even animals can be harmful. Research shows that there are long term risks involved with genetically engineered foods. Potential cancers, diseases, environmental changes, and possibly a rising cost in food are all negative factors of genetically engineered food. Genetically engineered foods should be eliminated from people and animal’s diets.

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Genetically Modified Food Essay

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Genetically Modified Food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 991

  • Pages: 4

Genetically Modified Food

“Mommy,” a five year-old child states, “this food is tastier than the other kind. ” The reason for this is simple; genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is modification of a plant’s or animal’s DNA. Scientists do this to enhance a certain gene within the organism. Some opponents of genetically modified food argue that growing this kind of food will ruin the environment and the ecosystem permanently. In fact, genetically modified food is beneficial for the environment and for society. With the creation and use of genetically modified food, the world shall change forever.

To begin with, GM (genetically modified) crops are able to be used for medical purposes. Meaning, these modified plants “have medical benefits that prevent cancer and other diseases” (Institute 32). Medically, this is extremely important because thousands of people have died to cancer. The world would be a better place without cancer. Not only does this help people, a plant can be made to produce more nutrients that are essential (Manning 10). A persons immune system can be boosted to help fight off viruses and other bad organisms.

Sadly, “800 million people around the world are undernourished” (Pence 58), causing diseases to run rampant. In the medical world, rampant diseases can cause harm to millions of people. Not only this but 400 million child bearing women have iron deficiency and 100 million children suffer from blindness from Vitamin A deficiency (Penning 58). This is unfortunate in all aspects. People do not deserve to die due to spoiled or a shortage of food. GM food can help people. Without a doubt, medical usage of GM food is essential.

Another piece of evidence that shows GM crops in their finest is their tactics in feeding the world. One conclusion can be drawn from the fact that “GMOs [Genetically Modified Organisms] provide healthier food for [farmer’s] farm animals]” (Institute 32). The healthier an animal eats, the better the animal is to consume. The meat and milk from animals will have more nutrients. Not only this, the government backs up GMOs and says these can feed millions of people in third world countries (Manning 10). People that are living in poverty can be fed and not die due to unsuitable conditions.

Once again, people do not deserve to parish due to starvation. Mr. Pence states that “GM crops are the tools for feeding the world” (59). For this world feeding tactic, he states the truth; better crops and better animals will make food last longer or have bigger quantities to share with the world. This means that countries like Brazil can change. Brazil is able to challenge the “big five” food exporters of the world (“How” 11). The fact is clear the genetically modified foods can feed the world. Additional proof that GM foods are beneficial to the people of the world is their environmental benefits.

Mr. Pollan shares his thoughts by saying that “biotechnology is the replacement of expensive and toxic chemicals” (15). What he means is that the environment will not need to endure through as much of the harmful chemicals that farmers have to use to eradicate insects. This leads to the point that “farmers has not to spray anything, has not to dust anything” (Manning 68) and does not need to destroy the environment. This can give the soil a break from the plagues that are herbicide and insecticide. Not only is the soil being saved, natural land marks can be saved.

For example, the forests of the Amazon are being deforested for land. However, with the help of GMOs, Brazil can use the plains and farmland they have better (“How” 2). Forests can then be saved because countries like Brazil can then use the entire land plot for what it is worth and more. As the evidence clearly shows, genetically modified organisms can benefit the environment. Finally, the most important piece of evidence that genetically modified foods are beneficial for humanity is its effect on crops as a whole.

To begin with, plants have improved nutrition (Institute 31). For people who want to lose weight, this is a plus. The reason of this is that the person can eat less and still feel healthy. Not only this, the “[use of] biotechnology can make a crop more resistant to pests, herbicides, or disease” (Manning 10). A pest can be defined as a grasshopper, beetle, locust, and other animals that consume farm crops. Hundreds of crops can now be saved due the natural insecticide (instrument for killing insects).

Not only this, unwanted plants, such as weeds, can be killed without the crop being affected. A natural herbicide resistance can cut down on the amount needed by farmers to kill a plant. Finally, disease resistant plants are very important. The Great Potato Famine of 1840 showed what one disease can do. If a disease like that struck a major crop field, millions of people could starve. This absolutely proves the importance of GMOs. Shockingly, as stated, countries like Brazil can go from “zero to hero” with benefits from GMOs (“How” 11).

If the entire world could be like this, world hunger could end. Only one conclusion can be drawn; genetically modified crops are extremely beneficial to the world. Overall, the world as we know it is being affected by biotechnology. This is an extremely good thing! With society being able to prosper, the world can become a better place. Learning about GM food in a community can help support biotechnology and all of its benefits. This can be an important decision. If the world shall change, why not change for everyone’s benefit.

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Genetically Modified Food Essay

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Genetically Modified Food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1315

  • Pages: 5

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically modified foods have shaped and formed many debates on whether foods should or should not be genetically modified and there are many reasons as to why. Genetically modified foods are foods that are compromised of organisms which have been genetically altered. There are several reasons being affirmative on genetically modified foods, such as supporting the occurrence of diseases and they are said to be faster in growth. However there is a negative side on genetically modified foods. Genetically modified foods could cause harmful side effects to the body and the (BT) added to GM foods is unsafe for the body.

The topic of genetically modified foods is an extremely controversial topic and brings many opinions to whether it is right or wrong. Genetic modification of foods is done by changing the genes of a cell. Genes are a progression of bases which code for a sequence of amino acids. Amino acids make up proteins which we need for our body to function. The DNA is made of the four bases; Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine. Genes are then added or taken from the DNA which changes the colour, size, shape, nutritional value or the way in which the plant or animal grows.

With support from scientists farmers have been genetically modifying their crops for quite a long period of time. Foods that are genetically modified unusually include and consist of canola, soy beans, rice corn and various others. Genetically modified foods are banned in numerous countries such as France and other European countries. On the other hand, genetically modified foods are a substantial part of society in Australia; it is in most supermarkets and is something we eat daily. GM foods have no labels on products that declare to consumers whether the products have been genetically modified or not.

This causes and is due to consumers having to decide and become unsure about the product selling, whether what they are buying is genetically modified or genuinely natural. A reason affirmative why foods should be genetically modified; is that one of the major benefits is they facilitate in controlling the occurrence of certain diseases. There are several foods that cause allergies to certain people when products consumed. By modifying the DNA system of these foods, the properties causing these allergies are eliminated successfully.

It has been said that experts and scientists are working on developing foods that have the ability to cure diseases by genetically modifying foods. Gene technology is similar to traditional breeding, and there is a chance of increasing or decreasing levels of naturally occurring proteins, toxins or further unsafe compounds in foods. Foods that are usually developed traditionally are not normally tested for these types of substances; however they often happen naturally and can be affected by breeding. The use of genes from identified allergenic sources in alteration experiments is not prohibited.

If a transformed product is found to stand as an increased risk of allergenicity and it should be put to an end. Scientists have the same opinion that normal tests for allergies in foods should be continuously evaluated and improved, plus caution and concern should be practiced when evaluating all new foods, including those resulting from certain crops. Though developers and manufacturers of genetically modified foods make sure that there are mixtures of advantages of consuming foods in society, a lot of the population is entirely against them.

A disadvantage of genetically modified foods is that the biggest threat caused is they can have dangerous and harmful side effects on the human body. It is believed by experts that consumption of these genetically modified foods can reason for the development of diseases which are protected by antibiotics. Additionally, people who consume such foods have increased chances of developing cancer. Besides, genetically modified foods are new inventions, not a lot is well-known about their long-term effects on human beings aswell. A reason for harmful side effects may be because of Gene transfer.

Gene transfer from genetically modified foods to cells of the body or to bacteria would cause strong concern if the transferred genetic material has harmful effects. This would be mainly important if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating genetically modified organisms were to be transferred. Though the likelihood of gene transfer is low, the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes has been encouraged. There are many other things that could cause harmful side effects, however, as the health effects are unknown, many people prefer to stay away from genetically modified foods.

It is also been said that genetically modified foods grow faster than the foods that are grown in the normal manner. Due to this, efficiency increases this then provides the population with more food. Several people believe that there is not enough food in the world to feed everybody; this is why genetically modified foods could potentially cure and solve hunger around the world. As genetically modified foods enlarge the size of crops, additional food is produced by farmers. Therefore, this prevents crops going to waste. If pests are unable to eat the crops, this results in nothing going to waste.

As a result, farmers make extra money. It is also said that genetically modified foods are extremely fortunate and lucky in places which experience numerous droughts, or where the soil is lacking ability for crop growing. This is why it is difficult to grow normal crops. Now, we can begin to grow foods in different circumstances. For example, strawberries can be able to be genetically modified to grow in frosts. Other foods that grow in cold climates could be engineered and modified to grow in hot climates, such as Africa where much of the continent lacks to provide food.

A disadvantage of genetically modified foods is by adding bacterium (BT) to the cells keep insects under control may not be safe for humans. To genetically modify the crops, the type of bacterium that is added is unhealthy for some people to choose to wear cotton clothing or have jobs associated with cotton. Workers in India that had jobs which were involved in handling genetically modifies cotton caused numerous allergies to the workers. They developed itchy and reddened eyes, rashes on skin, blocked noses, nasal discharge and extreme sneezing.

This resulted in some workers ending up having to go to hospital or consume antihistamines daily. This was shown by Stephen Lendman, Global Research showing types of harm from GMO. There are many other examples involved with this type of harm from the (BT) cotton plant, additional cases included sheep which grazed on the (BT) cotton. As well, after a period of time they then became sick and then resulted in death. Adding a bacterium to maintain insects away may possibly not be worth impairment of animals and people.

Given the evidence shown, genetically modified foods have equally its advantages and disadvantages. If food is continuously genetically modified, it will still have benefits to us; however it comes along with a lot of risks. The decision whether foods should be genetically modified or not is an extremely debatable topic. Aswell, genetically modified foods are a huge part of society and are in our everyday life.

Having foods genetically modified has become so common, that most likely it will on no account be stopped, although some people choose to stay away from these types of products as it keeps them healthy and well. http://www. geneticallymodifiedfoods. co. uk/fact-sheet-pros-vs-cons. html http://www. geneticallymodifiedfood. com/ http://www. foodstandards. gov. au/consumerinformation/gmfoods/ http://www. ornl. gov/sci/techresources/.

Human_Genome/elsi/gmfood. shtml http://www. csa. com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview. php http://www. buzzle. com/articles/genetically-modified-foods-pros-and-cons. html http://www. ehow. com/info_8115944_pros-cons-genetically-modified-food. html.

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Genetically Modified Food Essay

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Genetically Modified Food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1395

  • Pages: 6

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically modified (GM) foods are ethically unacceptable. GM foods are food product derived in whole or part from a genetically modified organism by human intention. It is a special set of technologies that concerns the alteration, deletion, or addition of the genetic makeup of living organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria.

This is an important issue because GM foods have been dubbed as the “Food of the Future” and although studies have shown that genetically modified foods may bring about many benefits to mankind, we must also look into the ethical issues involved in producing such food before we even consider accepting it as the way of the future. First, we must understand that the word “ethical” is defined as having to do with ethics or morality; or of conforming to moral standards.

There will be 3 parts to this essay. Firstly, I will be presenting and defending 2 arguments that support my stand. Following that, I’ll take into consideration some common objections against my thesis. Lastly, I will summarize the main points in this essay before drawing to a conclusion. The essay’s argument takes the form of Modus Ponens: If GM is X, GM is unethical

GM is X
> GM is unethical

My main argument is that it is unethical to tamper with nature by mixing genes among the different species. By doing so, it may actually lead to a violation of natural organisms’ intrinsic values. There is a very delicate balance that links this world together and this is the balance that makes things work. GM foods might actually give rise to more complications such as the disturbance of nature’s food pyramid.

For example, the pesticide produced in the crop may unintentionally harm other creatures while producing a benefit to others. The introduction of pest-resistant genes into crops could lead to the death of the pests and other animals causing an imbalance in the food chain that could possibly lead to the extinction of some species especially if they are only localized in one particular area.

In Britain, a native farm bird, the Skylark, was indirectly affected by the introduction of GM sugar beets that were designed to resist herbicides. The result in planting this crop was that weeds were reduced substantially. However, since the birds rely on the seeds of this weed in autumn and winter, researchers expect that up to 80% of the Skylark population would have to find other means of finding food. Another issue brought up is that GM crops may also pose a health risk to native animals that eat the plants and may be poisoned by the built-in pesticides.

Although others might also argue that the cutting down of trees to construct buildings might also be a way of tampering with nature, GM food not just tampers with physical nature but with the foundation of nature – genes. Every organism, no matter how small, is made up of genes. These genes control the physical development and behavior of the organism and are passed down from parent to offspring. The word “genes” (comes from the Greek word “genos” meaning “origin”) actually defines nature’s origin and the production of GM food would mean to change the origin of nature.

Furthermore, religious communities – Christians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims – also share such concerns regarding GM products. According to Bishop Jeff Davies from the SA Council of Churches, “With genetic engineering, we are tampering with the structures of life that have taken millions of years to evolve and we have the arrogance to think that we can improve on them in 10 years… to transfer a gene from one species into another.” Different religious communities have different believes and one of them would be their food such as kosher and halal food.

But with the introduction of animal genes into plants how will they define a tomato with a fish gene? This will also be a major concern to vegetarians. All in all, I believe that people should be happy with what nature has to give and not “play God” and try to control nature. It is unethical to sacrifice other creatures and meddle with the delicate balance of nature. Furthermore, there will be potential chain reactions that may be unstoppable.

One other argument is how GM products can affect our health especially in the long run. The unpredictable changes in our food could lead to negative reactions that are not detected by research techniques until much later. A quick acceptance of GE foods without proper testing could show corporate profitability to be very influential but that would be too dangerous because there has been no adequate safety testing to ensure that using other organism’s genes is going to have the same useful effects if inserted into a totally unrelated species.

Furthermore, testing has only been done on a small scale currently and it’s hard to predict what will happen when it’s used on a wider ecology. In 1989, dozens of Americans died and several thousands were afflicted and impaired by a genetically altered version of the food supplement L-tryptophan. Studies have been done to show how viruses can mix with genes of other viruses to give rise to more deadly viruses. To mass market the use of GM food when it has not been properly tested for safety issues would mean that businesses are gaining at the expense of consumer’s health and is therefore ethically unacceptable.

On the other hand, some organizations insist that GM technology is the solution to solving the problem of world hunger. However, I feel that it is simply a ploy of corporations and countries that are using the plight of the developing world as a marketing strategy to gain acceptance of GE foods. GM technology is not an economical method that can be easily implemented by most countries. In fact, genetic engineering techniques are currently being applied to crops important to the industrialized world and not on crops which the world’s hungry depend on.

GM foods could actually reduce developed countries’ reliance on crops from developing countries, resulting in loss of trade and severe economic damage for them and intensifying their problem of poverty. This would mean that there’s a conflict of interest. Furthermore, an important factor that Friends of the Earth has pointed out is that “many people in the world are suffering from malnutrition and hunger because they cannot afford to buy food, not because it is unavailable.” Therefore, even with GM food, people would still not be able to afford it or have it distributed appropriately.

Most of the causes of hunger are found in global politics, rather than issues of agriculture and technology. As a result, a variety of groups and people are questioning the motives behind GM foods as the political causes of hunger appear to be ignored.

An article from Food First observed that “most innovations in agricultural biotechnology have been profit-driven rather than need-driven” and it questions whether GE technology can really ensure food security, protect the environment and reduce poverty in the developing world or is it produced simply because it’s patentable and thus, profitable to businesses. In some cases, as reported by The Institute for Science, pesticide usage is actually increasing, and GE crop actually yield less than conventional crops.

In this essay, I have come up with several valid reasons why Genetically Modified Foods are ethically unacceptable. GM foods tamper with the origin of nature which is the genes and there is inadequate safety testing to prove that GM food is safe for human consumption.

Therefore, businesses are mass marketing GM food at the expense of consumer’s health and proclaiming that GM Food is the solution to world hunger when it might not be true. Although there might be potential and benefits in GE technology, there are still many unknown areas that might prove to be more harmful then beneficial. Furthermore, there are still too many important ethical issues that have been ignored and that reason by itself makes it ethically unacceptable.

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Genetically Modified Food Essay

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Genetically Modified Food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1091

  • Pages: 4

Genetically Modified Food

Did you know that 62 countries have strict laws against genetically modified foods? 30 of those 62 have eliminated or almost completely banned genetically modified foods from their market (Partovi). All of Europe has almost completely done away with these altered forms of comestibles and requires labeling for anything with even a trace of modified content. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are in nearly 80 percent of the United States processed foods (Lowery). These genetically modified foods have been linked to several serious health conditions. Among these threats are: obesity, ADHD, and cancer.

These foods should be restricted from our American markets. Obesity now kills more people than starvation and malnutrition (Barrow). In America, 63 percent of Americans are overweight (Fox). In places such as Europe, where GMO foods are highly restricted, there are lower rates. America has the highest number of obese people in the world (Fox). Places where GMOs are not present or are harder to find and labeled, there is a lower percentage of overweight people. Monsanto, the world’s largest GMO producer, conducted 3 separate studies of GMO foods affect on animals (Tencer).

These findings were published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences. Their test concluded overall increases in the animal’s body weight as compared to the animals starting weight, and the control group. It also showed that “GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal [i. e. kidney and liver] toxicity. ” (” Does Genetically Modified (GM) Food Increase the Incidence of Obesity, 2012). Another link to GMO foods has been ADD, and ADHD. I myself have ADD and have done very extensive research on it. I do my best to eat natural foods and do not touch fast foods or soda and a majority of most sweets and junk foods.

In animals fed GMO foods, studies have shown that there are similar patterns of behavior and similar physiological issues that plague people with ADD and ADHD. These problems are signs that exhibit quick irritation, aggressiveness and hyperactivity (Daniels). One scientist commented on this study and said, “They have all of the severe allergy responses, the inflammation and the reddening… the intestinal lining is deteriorating. ” (Daniels). This is reflected in people with autism, a mental disability that many psychologists believe umbrellas the ADD and ADHD disability.

Another factor driving more children to develop ADD and ADHD are the pesticides used on GMO foods. A study discovered that pesticide by-products were found in the urine of the 1,140 children sampled. “Children with substantially higher levels of a breakdown product of neurotoxic organophosphate pesticides were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. ” (Zerbe). These pesticides are designed to attack the neurological system of pest, but have been linked to harming humans as well. One of GMO foods worst problems is its link to cancer.

In a 2 year study done with rats (yes, done with more animals), the results of GMO foods were shocking. The control group was fed only clean foods, while the test group was fed only GMOs. The test showed that 50 percent more of the test rats died prematurely and 50 percent more of the females developed large tumors and cancer. The tumors in the test group were two to three times larger than the control group and developed in half the time it took the control group (Poulter). Quite of few GMO foods have been linked to cancer through carcinogens.

These foods contain small trace amounts of carcinogens. Milk containing rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is the more notable of these foods; containing higher amounts of carcinogens than most other GMO foods (Collier). Very few studies of the long term effects of GMO foods have been done in America. Short term studies show GMO foods don’t harm us in anyway because they only contain slight amounts of pesticide, poisons, toxins, or carcinogens. 62 countries have strictly regulated or banned these foods because of the possible effects and long term studies of GMO foods.

The problems and medical conditions these foods have been linked to are very serious and affect our entire nation. Most of our food has some sort of genetically modified content. Monsanto itself has concluded that GMO foods are harmful to animals, yet they continue to produce and distribute the genetically modified foods anyway. In fact, the Monsanto Protection Act (officially named Section 735) actually “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning…. ” (Connor).

This basically means we can be fed poison and our own government could not stop them. We should stop the process of all GMO foods until we have researched enough about them to develop safe, poison free foods. Partovi, Ali. “Are Un-Labeled Genetically Modified Foods Already in Circulation? ” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost. com, 08 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. Lowery, Kate. “Studies Show GMOs in Majority of U. S.

Processed Foods, 58 Percent of Americans Unaware of Issue. ” Studies Show GMOs in Majority of U. S. Processed Foods, 58 Percent of Americans… Whole Foods Market, 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. Barrow, Martin. “Obesity Kills More than Hunger in March of ‘progress’” The Times. The Times, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. Fox, Elizabeth. “Obesity in America Compared to Europe. ” LIVESTRONG. COM. Live Strong, 21 Dec. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. Tencer, Daniel. “Monsanto, World’s Largest Genetically Modified Food Producer, To Be Charged With Biopiracy In India (VIDEO).

” The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 10 Mar. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. “Global Research. ” Does Genetically Modified (GM) Food Increase the Incidence of Obesity? Washingtons Blog, 20 Mar. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. Daniels, Diane. “Are Genetically Modified Foods Contributing to the Rise in Autism? ” Brain Works. Brain Worls, 14 May 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. Zerbe, Leah. “Pesticides in food linked to ADHD in kids” Msnbc. com. Rodale, 09 Nov. 2011.

Web. 27 Apr. 2013. Poulter, Sean. “Cancer Row over GM Foods as Study Says It Did THIS to Rats…and Can Cause Organ Damage and Early Death in Humans. ” Mail Online. Daily Mail UK, 19 Sept. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2013. Collier, Richard. “Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)/Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rBST). ” Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)/Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rBST). Breast Cancer Fund, n. d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. Sheets, Connor. “‘Monsanto Protection Act’: 5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision. ” International Business Times. International Business Times, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

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Genetically modified food Essay

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Genetically modified food Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 341

  • Pages: 1

Genetically modified food

GMO foods are such an embedded part of our food system these days, but it’s not difficult to think back to a time when food was simpler and healthier. How did we get to the point that genetically modified organisms infiltrate so much of what we eat? Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food’s genetic structure.

The introduction of genetically modified food has created both benefits and conflicts among people. The idea of producing food with desirable qualities paved the way for the development of genetically modified food worldwide. Scientists were able to isolate genes with favourable traits and insert them in crops to produce food that can resist drought, insects, pesticides and even is more nutritious. It started by developing a tomato with a longer shelf life in 1994 called Flavr Savr.

But then, it was found that consumption of this engineered tomato caused stomach lesions in rats, thus, raising issues about the safety of genetically modified food in general. Since then, the debate raise on the disadvantages of consumption of genetically modified food. Below are just some examples of the long list of disadvantages of such practice; 1. The safety of such products is not verified yet, in fact, we are the lab rats to test the safety of such technology. This is sad but true.

In fact, genetically engineered food is being consumed daily with no thorough research of its potential threats on human health. 2. Genetically modified ingredients can cause cancer. A consultant histopathologest at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Stanley Ewen, raised the concern that food and water contaminated with genetically engineered material could increase the growth of malignant tumours upon contact with humans. Later, other studies suggested a link between engineered food and cancer.

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Genetically Modified Food Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 784

  • Pages: 3

Genetically Modified Food

In 1973, scientists discovered something that has the potential to change the world we live in forever they discovered Genetic Modification. Genetic modification is exactly what it sounds like it is the modification of genes inside a living organism. This of course could be used on humans or animals but as soon as this discovery was made safety precautions were put into place to stop people using this new technology in the wrong way. The secret to genetic modification of genes lies in the plasmid.

A plasmid is a ring of DNA inside bacteria and can be used to change the genetic message inside the bacteria. For example if you were to want to create insulin you would extract the insulin producing gene from the pancreas cell of a human and cut open the plasmid and insert it the gene. This new DNA created is called recombinant DNA. The bacteria would then go on to produce human insulin. Since this is the basis of how this technology works it can also be transferred to foods.

Scientists are now looking how they can genetically modify food in the world to make it better and hardier than the food nature produces. Some foods have already been genetically modified and are being grown widely throughout the United States. Crops such as Soya, Cotton, Maize and Potatoes are already modified and sold throughout the country. Scientists have genetically modified these crops to make them resistant to herbicides (weed killers) and to create their own poison that kills pests that eat the crop. These highly advanced crops are more likely to produce food for harvesting than normal crops would.

With this new genetically modified food it raises issues about just what can be done with it. Places such as Africa which have lots of drought may find that a crop could be developed that would be resistant to drought and could actually survive the harsh conditions and produce crops. A crop that is being developed right now is rice that contains vitamin A that can easily be absorbed into the body. Since poorer countries have a serious lack of vitamin A this new crop would help them to gain the nutrients they need to be healthy.

These two crops could be a huge help to world hunger. More food could be produced and the food would make the people that eat it healthier. However, there can’t only be good news about GM food or else it would be put into production throughout the world. Many are concerned that GM crops could have a huge impact on the environment. Many say scientists are playing around with something that they don’t understand and could damage wildlife and the environment. Concerns of how the GM crops would affect wildlife are a big concern.

It has been found out that the crops that have built in poisons to kill pests could also kill other animals such as butterflies. This could have an impact on the food web that the butterfly is apart of. There are also worries of a superweed being created accidentally by the gene that makes the crop resistant to herbicides. People are worried that this gene could get into a weed and make it resistant to the chemicals that are used to kill it. This would make it very difficult to rid crops of weeds and they could have the potential of spreading across the world.

Other worries of GM crops include cross-pollination of other plants with these super crops. Farmers that grow organic food may find that some pollen from a GM Crop has pollinated with their crop and made a new hybrid plant. Overall it would appear that there are both positive and negative aspects to the genetic modification of crops. On the positive side there is the possibility that world hunger could be helped by these new crops. However there are the negative aspects that GM crops could have an irreversible impact on the world and environment in which we live in.

If further tests were conducted on how GM crops would affect the world in which we and many other species live, maybe there could be some agreement on how we should go about using this new technology that has been discovered. Eventually genetic modification may be taken to new heights by genetically modifying humans and animals to be stronger and smarter. But hopefully this will not be so because then scientists would really be messing around with something that they are not sure about. This could also have huge impacts on the world.

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Genetically modified food Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 996

  • Pages: 4

Genetically modified food

War, famine, disease, hate, overpopulation; these are all constant struggles that humanity must face every day. How to address these problems so that the world will be able to continue in a stable, productive way is constantly on the minds of scientist, politicians, peacekeepers and the everyday person. The issue I’m choosing to discuss is starvation. With our population ever increasing, how are we going to provide billions of people the proper nutrition? Do we continue using the farming traditions of the past, or do we look to technological advancements and genetic modification for the answers?

With technology ever changing, our knowledge of genetics is growing and all the while farmland shrinking. When farmers are producing less harvest per year and having to use more and more pesticides to keep their crops alive, exploring the possibilities of genetic modification (GM) within food is a wise choice. In fact, I’d say it was the way of the future. GM foods have several benefits and in many ways are better and more efficient than sustainable agriculture crops.

Scientists have been studying agricultural biotechnology for decades, looking for the best ways to advance our lives. It involves many complex procedures such as moving key genes from one organism to another, crosspollination and selective breeding of plants. These and other processes create beneficial traits within the plant species that allow it to grow and survive better than standard, farm grown produce. Some plants have become resistant to disease and can actually repel potentially devastating insects; this removes the necessity for pesticides.

Sustainable agriculture is the other proposed solution to solving the world’s food crisis. Sustainable agriculturists believe that with proper irrigation methods, natural fertilizers and insecticides crops of equal yield can be produced, matching that of bioengineered foods. GM food products are already a part of our every day life. “Recent estimates show that 60-70% of foods in the U. S. markets contain GE ingredients, meaning they contain at least a small quantity of some crop that has been genetically engineered. (Genetically Modified Food & Human Health).

” As our knowledge grows and technology advances they will only become more integrated into our society. Biotechnology has the possibility to remove harmful allergens by altering the plant’s protein structure. “… Genetic modification can be used to remove or change proteins that are known allergens in plant foods such as the soybean. Recent research has demonstrated that a particular protein causing soybean allergies can be eliminated by modern biotechnology. (Genetically Modified Food & Human Health). ” “… Vast areas of irrigated land have become waterlogged.

Chemical fertilizers have run off into rivers and lakes causing ugly, slimy blooms of algae. Crop diseases such as late blight in potatoes, the virulent fungus responsible for the Irish famine, appear to be spreading again… (Will the World Starve? : Feast and Famine)” These are only some of the effects from poor attempts at sustainable agriculture. As afore mentioned, with GM, crops can be made resistant to disease, able to grow faster and stronger, and without the need of harmful chemical fertilizers or pesticides (Will the World Starve? : Feast and Famine).

As our population grows exponentially and our farmable land is continuously being reduced we need to find a solution that takes up less space while at the same time providing quality food in the amounts required. Less farmland is available due to commercialization and soil nutrient atrophy. This doesn’t mean that other plots couldn’t be converted into farmland. “Farm acreage could increase by 10% over the next 40 years… … In many cases it would mean destroying forests or other sensitive habitats… (Will the World Starve? : Feast and Famine). ”

Protagonists of sustainable agriculture argue that GM foods are unhealthy, unsafe to eat and may have adverse effects in the future. They say that the problem isn’t a lack of food, it’s the poor countries inability to afford the necessary provisions. They also say that, “If done properly… ” sustainable agriculture will be sufficient enough. In response, “Currently, genetically modified foods on the market are considered safe to eat and no adverse effects have been reported since their introduction in 1995 (Genetically Modified Food & Human Health).

” In the short term, GM research will be expensive and costs will need to be recouped from the consumer, but in the long run food will last longer, be more nutritious and cost less to grow greater yields. Once we are able to make this technology available to third world countries at an affordable rate they will be able to prosper more rapidly than if they were to keep using the old sustainable agriculture methods. The process of sustainable agriculture requires a large amount of land and skilled farmers and laborers.

If done improperly the land will quickly loose its ability to sustain life. This would require farmers to have much more education in the areas of irrigation, natural pesticides and herbicides, as well as increased research on global climate conditions and the future of these necessities. Why require all this ever-changing knowledge and research when we can create a nutritional plant that is doesn’t require these processes and is immune to natural hazards? In the long run, this would seem the better decision.

Though we are still in the early stages of genetic modification, I believe that this is a science with unlimited possibilities which will inevitably benefit mankind in many ways. Discovering and learning about new processes takes time, funding, caution and diligence. The art of farming has been around for centuries and the process has worked in the past, but now today’s society has different necessities and newer knowledge. The past is just that, the past. It’s now time to meet the future.

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