Genetically Modified Organisms And Its Effects On The World 's Growing Population

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As an added benefit to the environment, genetically modified organisms also address the widespread problem of soil erosion. The quality of topsoil used in agriculture is quickly degrading and it is estimated that there may only be 60 more years of usable topsoil remaining (What if the World 's Soil Runs Out?). Topsoil is important because it supplies water and nutrients to plants, while giving microbes the carbon they need (What if the World 's Soil Runs Out?). Degraded soil results in lower crop yields, which is counterproductive to supplying sufficient food to the world’s growing population. The way that genetically modified crops help this issue is by allowing farmers of modified plants to till their soil much less often, if at all (Johnson). Soil tilling also harms helpful organisms, such as worms, microbes poisoned by oxygen, and fungi that have healthy symbiotic relationships with plants (Johnson). While tilling removes weeds, the process also contributes to soil erosion. Since the farmers of herbicide-resistant crops can effectively use herbicides in limited quantities to remove weeds, they can leave plant residue, such as fallen leaves or dead plants on the ground to help create new topsoil and maintain soil quality (Johnson). Opponents of genetically modified organisms are concerned that modified plants may cross-pollinate with non-modified plants, or that they may contribute to insects and weeds gaining resistance to chemicals originally meant to remove them.
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