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The most marvelous activity a human being can encounter is experiencing new foods and flavors. For example, once a person takes a flavorful bite of a juicy rib eye steak or a tasty cheeseburger with lettuce and tomatoes, their life will have changed forever. However, food production has been augmented by science since the start of the twentieth century. This has caused an indignant feud between biotechnology supporters and those who have a deep regard for nature. To understand this controversy, we must be aware of genetically modified foods and what they mean to us. Using modern days technological advances, seeds can be modified into a high-tech seed with shorter maturation times and resistance to cold, heat, and dryness rather unlike conventional seed. This has been made possible by the implementation of new genes into the DNA of the conventional seed. Plants are created with superior characteristics after the “transgenes” are transferred into the plant. This guarantees a good production and reduced cost, which is great for farmers. On the contrary, organizations such as Friends of Earth and Greenpeace have advocated against GMO because it is believed that they are affecting the earth negatively. Both advocates, for and against genetically modified foods have compelling arguments.
Supporters profess that production and consumption of GM foods can substantially benefit our world, particularly countries that obtain high rates poverty and starvation. Experts insist that the GM products will put an end to world hunger. It is estimated that in the year of 2050 the world population will have grown up to 9 billion people, a competent alternative to feed people is with GM products. Today, people are dying due to hunger and hunger-related diseases in just about all African countries. In these countries, the estimated life expectancy is about the age of fifty-seven years and it is expected to decrease to forty-seven years by the year 2020. The governments of these countries are fighting to end this unjust situation. Experts believe that the most ideal alternative is the implementation of GM cultures in African countries; it will minimize the deaths, expand the life expectations, and bring nourishment to the suffering of the entire continent. Experts have said that the best alternative is the implementation of GM cultures in Africa; it will reduce the deaths, increase the life expectations and nourish the whole continent. The future of Africa is unresolved, but it is sure to rely on the production of GM foods.
A great deal of individuals is questioning how all these problems will be prevented by GMOs. The secret occurs in the production. GM crops grow more swiftly than the conventional seed. For that reason, farmers are able to produce more at a faster rate. In comparison to the conventional seeds, the modified seeds are much more resistant to cold, hot, and dry weather. On top of that, these crops are herbicide resistant; meaning that the crops can be sprayed with herbicide to vanquish the weeds without converting the crop. Because of this, large quantities of money are being conserved, and the production cost is benefited. In 2004 about 8.25 million farmers from all around the world planted genetically modified seeds, contrasted with 2003, 7 million seeds were planted, stated the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
In addition to the well-built production, John B. Alfred, a professor in the department of food science and technology at Ohio State University, stated, “These foods are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts.” These GM plants are altered construct proteins that otherwise would not have been produced by plants of natural means. They develop with incorporated Vitamin A that can prevent blindness in individuals who possess a Vitamin A deficiency. In addition to that, scientists have also modified potatoes so that they absorb less oil when fried. Having less oil means that there is less fat in the potato, transforming delicious French fries from junk food to a food that is healthy and full of nourishment. Scientists have also generated an apple that carries a built-in vaccine that can prevent pneumonia in children. These are only a few positive effects of genetically modified foods; however, some people continue to ask whether they want mutant plans, killer tomatoes, and other malfeasants to replace natural foods.
Since the beginning of their time, genetically modified foods and agriculture have introduced a great deal of questions regarding the negative effects that they can cause. Is the GM food safe for human intake, and how is this affecting the bionetwork? Researchers are still uncertain about the impact that GM crops may have on the natural environment. There are many concerns. If the GM plants blend with a different species, they may create an ill-favored plant and/or injure the animals that live in the ecological community. ‘Genes can move in pollen by wind or insects. Seeds can get stuck in machinery or mixed in storage and transportation systems. There are very many routes of vulnerability,’ said a panel chairman David Andow of the University of Minnesota. A report in 1999 found that only 56% of monarch butterflies lived after consuming milkweed shielded with engineered corn pollen. A following study showed that the larvae was poisoned with the toxin found in the corn pollen. This pollen can also combine with a similar or unassociated plant and create a plant that is resistant to herbicide and is nearly impossible to defeat.
Another casualty of GM organisms is that Bio-technology companies are gaining commercial control over the farmers through their products. This means that the farmers must be dependent on the companies, and the production of agricultural products will be in some way monopolized. In impoverished countries only 1% of GM research is aimed at crops used by indigent farmers. Costs can rise up to 200 million dollars and it may take about 12 years to develop a GM crop, and that cost must be recuperated by selling to farmers who can afford to pay for it. The cost of the food will increase, poor countries will suffer the consequences, and the hunger will continue to remain in place. A good real-life case in point that can prove this is Argentina. Argentina is in second place of GM production and is the only developing country that is producing genetically engineered crops on a large scale. All of the production is exported to foreign countries, meanwhile millions of Argentineans are battling hunger. Rather than focusing on risky technologies, all of the money spent on this process should be directed to giving necessitous people land, credit, resources, and markets so they can feed themselves and sell their surplus crops. There are four multinationals that have control of the seed market. Monsanto, Syngenta Bayer CropScience, and Dupont, however, Monsanto has about 91 % of all GM crops grown in the world. This demonstrates that GM crops are more likely to benefit rich corporations than the underprivileged people who actually need it.
Another consequence of GM crops is that genetic modifications can form proteins within plants which a consumer could be allergic to. For instance, one of the most common allergies is with the peanut. What would happen if peanut proteins interweave into tomato seeds? Then people with peanut allergies would not be able to consume genetically modified tomatoes. There are many reasons to stop the production of GM foods. It can create serious long-term nature accidents, but there is no way to be completely aware of the consequences until it is too late to change or undo our actions.
In conclusion, the implementation of genetically modified foods has a handful of positive and negative effects. The topic of genetically modified foods is extremely controversial because there is a great number of risks and benefits and there are multifarious views encompassing it. This matter is very important to everyone today because it will alter our future. How would the world be when each and every single living creature will be in some aspect genetically modified? Would it cause people to become more impervious to illness? Or would it cause everyone to become frailer and at risk to diseases? How would it affect pregnant women, their fetuses, and future generations? Would this be the beginning of the mutant era? More studies must be conducted for us to receive the information that can answer the questions. Regardless of the answers to these questions, we will need to consider the implications of genetically modified foods.
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