Essay about Genetically Engineered Food Crops: Benefits Outweigh Risks

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Genetically Engineered Food Crops: Benefits Outweigh Risks

Genetically engineered (GE) food crops have caused heated debate in the food industry for many decades and have caused many consumers major concern. According to Dr. Carroll Rawn, a biology professor at Seton Hall University, genetically engineering food entails taking genes from a certain crop and inserting those genes in the DNA of another. This process changes the nucleotide sequence of the crop and, therefore, its characteristics. The debate lies in the question of whether these changes are beneficial for the productivity and quality of the harvest. Jeremy Rifkin argues in his article, “Science and Technology: O Brave New World,” that GE foods are not beneficial
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For this reason, some consumers feel that genetically altering food is a beneficial step in increasing their safety. In a personal interview, Dr. Rawn further explains the advantages of genetically engineering foods:

In order that crops are not damaged by insects feeding on them, by worms in the soil

feeding on them [… we can] genetically alter the plants so that they are more resistant

to the bugs. [To do this] the plants will produce a chemical inside themselves that the

bugs don’t like. The chemical that the plants make don’t bother me when I consume it;

the bugs don’t like it, but its okay with me. Now I’ve solved the problem, and I don’t

have to use any pesticides. And all I have done is to modify the plant so that it makes

its own protection.

So, it is obvious that Dr. Rawn is saying genetically modified foods are healthier because less pesticide is needed to prevent bugs and herbicides from damaging the crops. The reason for this, as introduced by Dr. Rawn, is that certain genes are placed into the DNA of a food crop to help it develop its own defense system against these pests. If a crop acquires the ability to defend itself against destructive agents, then, the need for harmful chemicals is eliminated. Furthermore, Dr. Rawn is in fact correct in his belief that GE crops
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