A New Breed Of Genetic Engineering

1433 Words6 Pages
Genetic modification has long been a part of the way humans adapt to their environment. From selectively breeding sheep to get the perfect wool to eliminating unsavory seeds to get the tastiest, reddest apples, people have been indirectly engineering the genes of other organisms for centuries. However, scientific advancement has produced a new breed of genetic engineering. Scientists are now able to actually insert genes from one organism into the DNA of another (Goldbas 20). While this has led to numerous beneficial medicines and foods, the modern GMOs are enveloped in controversy.
The food industry is under great pressure as the world population sky rockets. To many, the GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, produced by biotechnology
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According to a Pew study, “88 percent of these [American Association for the Advancement of Science] scientists believe that genetically engineered food products are safe to eat” (Koberstein 49). However, of those very same scientists only 68 percent think the same of “foods grown with pesticides” (Koberstein 49). This is incredibly ironic because all GMO foods are grown with the use of pesticides. If the scientists properly understood GMOs, then the number for GMOs would be no greater than the number for pesticides. They contradict themselves by having a lower opinion of pesticide use than GMOs. Distinguished environmental journalist Paul Koberstein reports the GMOs are grown using “some [pesticides] which have been shown to be highly toxic to the environment and humans, like atrazine, chlorpyrifos, as well as potentially hazardous insecticidal proteins that are genetically embedded into the plant” (49). There is no logical world in which pesticide use is capable of being worse that GMO foods. This situation is just the beginning of the GMO enigma, which remarkably involves simultaneously using and ignoring science. More than just pesticides are causing harm when it comes to GMOs. The FDA, or Food and Drug Administration, allows companies that manufacture GMOs to determine the safety of their own products (Hemphill 8). While in theory the companies are supposed to only release products that have been properly
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