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Genetically Modified Organisms and Food Essay

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The term GMO or Genetically Modified Organism refers to an individual form of life in which the genome is changed or modified through genetic engineering. In other words, the DNA from an organism is modified in a laboratory and then inserted into another organism’s genome for the purpose of producing positive traits that would be useful, creating a new organism. This science of genetic manipulation has been utilized for many different purposes. One important area in which it is controversial is agriculture. Specific issues regarding this technology involve human and environmental safety as well as ethical and conservation concerns.
A common example of a GMO plant would be Monsanto’s Roundup® Ready Corn. One of the methods the Monsanto
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Supporters of this biotechnology believe there is no danger posed from GMO foods. They see only the favorable properties as the way of the future for agriculture and our food supply. Some of these positives might include an improved resistance to stress, such as weather or pests. Other benefits could be longer shelf life or increased yield (Weighing the GMO arguments: For, 2003). Monsanto Company, a top producer of genetically engineered seeds, states, ‘There has not been a single substantiated instance of illness or harm associated with GM crops.’ (Monsanto Company, 2011) It would be important to point out that it’s quite difficult to pinpoint a GMO as the source of an illness due to the lack of labeling on GMO products.
Challengers believe that there are serious consequences regarding genetically modified foods. A study conducted by the International Journal of Biological Sciences liked GMO corn consumption and organ failure in laboratory rats (Goldstein & Emami, 2011). Also, contamination of traditional, non GMO crops through cross pollination. After contamination takes place it’s not visually possible to distinguish the GMO crop from a traditional crop. This can cause legal issues for farmers as the GMO seeds are patented and require permission for their use. The farmer can unknowingly grow GMO contaminated seeds then infringing on the seed company’s
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