Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop useful products and is a technological application that uses living organisms or systems. There is much controversy in the use of these systems because of possible health and environmental effects. One of the most widely used products of biotechnology is genetically modified (GM) crops. These are crops that have a specific combination of genetic material that is acquired through certain biotechnological processes or genetic engineering. Many crops have been subject to these genetic modifications such as: alfalfa, cotton, flax, rice, tobacco, tomatoes, and wheat. Many people are on various sides of the spectrum of being for the alteration of these crops or strongly against it.
GMOs, or otherwise known as Genetically Modified Organisms, can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material, DNA, has been altered in a non-natural way. Genetically modified organisms have shown many advantages. They are safe to eat and environmentally sustainable. They are also safe, nutritious, and can help us adapt to our global problems. GMOs are also an approach to development that takes the finite resources of the Earth into consideration. The many, many pros of GMO’s heavily outweigh the cons of it.
The alteration of plant and animal genetic codes for the ultimate purpose of increasing food abundance is an increasingly popular, yet controversial practice in the 21st century. Genetic engineering of food is done for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is increasing food supplies in the world, especially for the third world countries. However, there are arguments and even activist movements against genetic engineering of food, which begs the question “why is genetically engineered food so controversial?” The pro and con arguments of the genetic engineering of food cannot be overlooked. Although it is a controversial practice, genetically engineered food is more useful than harmful to people and the planet.
Genetically modified crops are an incredibly important issue that everyone should be aware of since it is something we are exposed to at a daily basis. Genetically modified crops also known as GM crops or Biotech crops has been one of the most heated debates of issues within our society. The debate about the safety, concerns and disadvantages of GM crops have raged since the mid 1990 's but this is due to the lack of knowledge of the general public. Many people are unaware of what the GM crops actually are and what they offer. Genetically modified crops are plants that are used in the agriculture and have been modified to initiate a new trait to plants that does not happen naturally in the species. These plants are modified using genetic engineering techniques to enhance desired traits. GM crops are made when genes of commercial interest are transferred from one organism to another.() There are many methods used for the production of GM crops but the two primary used for plant insertion are gene guns and agrobacterium tumefaciens. There are also three types of modifications which are transgenic, cisgenic, and subgenic plants. However, there are a number of issues that surround this controversial topic such as environmental, health, and economic concerns. Even though there are some worrying facts about GM crops people don 't realize the advantages or the ways it has helped humans as well as animals. There are many reasons why GM crops are proven
Currently over 7 billion people inhabit the earth, current estimates are that the world’s population could be as high as 10 billion by 2050. (Cleland, 553) In order to maintain a sufficient healthy food supply for a population of that size, the farming industry must continue to rely on scientific discoveries to raise crop output levels and raise nutritional values of that production. Beyond the discoveries that have already been made in the genetic altering of food supplies through mixed breeding of similar species. The next plateau will be the reliance on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to provide required crop supplies. Therefore, genetic modification of the world’s food supply is a sustainable effort to allow the human race to continue to support the ever-growing world population.
On the one hand, many claim that GMOs are absolutely necessary for the continual well-being of the human race, as well as the Earth. GMOs could potentially have a monumentally positive affect on our environment, health, economy, and overall society. GMOs have been and can continue to be used to solve world hunger and malnutrition. Around 500,000 children go blind every year because of a Vitamin A deficiency. So, for example, a strain of rice has been developed that unlike normal rice, contains enough Vitamin A to keep children healthier. GMOs have helped feed more than 300 million Americans and a global population of 7 billion – of which 1 in 8 suffer from hunger and malnutrition. By 2050, the global population is expected to rise to 9 billion. Experts predict we will need 70% more agricultural production to keep pace – utilizing GM crops that
“What is a GMO?” asked Jeremy Seifert, creator of the documentary “GMO OMG”, to several ordinary, everyday consumers on the street. The answers ranged from, completely clueless, to almost understanding what it means. The amount of people who admitted that they have no idea was appalling. Some people got as far as “genetically…I don’t know the rest.” and “genetically modified….I forgot the last word”. Once informed of what the acronym stood for, Jeremy then asked these same individuals whether or not they would feel comfortable eating these types of products. The response was unanimous. “Absolutely not!” GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance,
In the United States today we consume genetically modified organisms in nearly everything we eat, and some of us are not even aware of it. Even though GMO’s have been around for nearly two decades, only recently they have been getting increasingly more attention. The author of The Threats From Genetically Modified Foods explains that “genetic modification refers to the manipulation of DNA by humans to change the essential makeup of plants”(Mather). However, a large portion of the American population is concerned about whether or not they should be wary of these new advancements in produce, if they should allow their food to be produced the way it has been done for centuries, and if they even have a choice. These are the concerns that are
Due to mass urbanization the world has experienced in the past decades, farm land is decreasing and being replaced by cities and subdivisions. This urbanization forces farmers to increase crop yield for each acre they have. Thankfully, the use of GMOs has allowed farmers to maintain pace with urban development. If GMOs had not been used in 2012, an additional area equivalent to 9% of the U.S. would have had to be farmed around the world to gain the same amount of yield with GMOs (Brookes). Without the use of GMOs and additional burden would be felt by not only on farmers but also on the average consumer due to price increases on produce.
People all around the world are still debating if gmo foods are beneficial or unbeneficial to us humans. These gmo foods were used 20 years ago and animal’s genes have moved from host to host from the beginning of time. In my opinion, I think that gmo foods are more beneficial to humans more than risks. Here are three reasons why gmo foods are beneficial to us.
Of course, when there is an argument against something, there will be a counter argument that will be for the same topic. One of the biggest health benefits that a GMO can bring to the world is the additional nutrients that can be added to the GMO (Murnaghan, 2017). This can be extremely helpful in poverty stricken areas. A food that is very common in that area can be enhanced to include the nutrient that is lacking. This will allow for the people in the area to have an all-around healthier diet without having to buy even more food to consume all the right nutrients. With the addition of nutrient enhancement in GMOs, the battle of malnutrition will also be helped (Duvauchelle, 2014). Malnutrition is very common in third world countries (Nodoushani,
Another benefit we get from GMOs is that it increases the crop yield in two ways: first is there will be fewer insects and pests that would eat the crops and, that it will grow without being bothered by pesticides (Bouis, 2007). GMOs has inbuilt resilience to diseases, viruses and herbicides that it requires lesser chemical pesticides and it makes them supposedly an environmental friendly, which reduces soil erosion. The production also demands less time; therefore it can provide a larger food supply to
According to a census done by the United Nations, as of October 31, 2011 the world’s population has reached seven billion people. The earth’s population is estimated to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. Will the earth be able to sustain and feed that many mouths? The planet’s current population is already two to three times higher than the sustainable level. Approximately fifty percent more resources than the Earth is producing are being consumed. The longer we consume more resources than the sustainable level, the quicker the sustainability of earth decreases. In 1990, a new technique called genetic engineering entered the food industry. Genetic engineering is the alteration of the basic make up of plants and animals to produce a desirable trait. Some scientists believe that GMOs increase yields, but according to some research, “GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability” (Institute for...). About 30 countries around the globe ban GMOs, including Australia, Japan and all of the nations in the European Union. Activists that are against Genetically Modified Organisms have organized campaigns to raise customer awareness of their existence in the majority of the food supply. Most Americans aren’t
GMOs have been proclaimed the solution to the future food shortage problem. The global population is greatly decreasing, while the amount of land is decreasing. In order to feed this population boom, the yields will need to continue to be increased and GMOs can do this. By creating a resistance to insects, fungi, bacteria, and weeds, less of the crop is destroyed resulting in a greater yield and more food. This has also been utilized in third world countries to help give proper nutrition to people in need and save lives. The yields have made it pretty clear that GMOs are the solution to this inevitable food shortage problem.
What foods are genetically modified? Well, most food that “contains sugar from sugar beets, soy, or corn,” is genetically modified (Mercola, 2015, p. 4). Most people consume genetically modified, or GM, foods every day without even being aware. While some do avidly monitor their food consumption and avoid GM foods, others simply eat GM foods because, to them, GM foods seem safe to consume. In “Genetically Modified Foods Are Not Safe to Eat,” osteopath, Joseph Mercola, advocates his concerns of consuming GM foods and stresses that more people need to be aware of what they eat. Even though some may still disagree that genetically modified foods are unsafe after reviewing Mercola’s work, his article contains an extremely sound and valid