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Are Genetically Modified Foods Good or Bad?

Updated on April 30, 2015

Genetically modified food

Are Genetically Modified Foods Good or Bad?

The science of genetically modifying foods is one topic that still commands considerable attention considering the daring estimates that the world might not be able to feed its ever growing population. With that in mind, research on genetically modified foods has increased and while it, being a science, has health concerns, scientist cite benefits that may help eradicate hunger issues in some parts of the world.

As a concept, farmers have been improving their yields or crops by cross breeding for years now, a known example in Africa is the breeding of cattle to get the best possible breed type of cattle. What the concept does, is to mix the two benefits (and sometimes even disadvantages) to come up with a cross-breed that is more appealing or has better incomes. What has been the issue though about this concept is the unreliability of the exercise, the mixture of the two characteristics may be outweighed by the negatives hence producing an unwanted breed. What science and biotech has done through the introduction of genetically modified organisms therefore is to make it more predictable. The process involves artificially manipulating genetic material in living organisms in a laboratory through genetic engineering. The result is tested in greenhouses and laboratories for adverse effects of the modification before public consumption.

Distinguishing between genetic engineering and crossbreeding

√Genetic engineering transfers a small number or single gene to the intended living organising while plant crossbreeding transfers hundreds of genes.

√Through science, which incorporates several laboratory testing, the gene sequence is known in genetic engineering while in plant cross breeding the genes are mostly not known.

√While plant crossbreeding focuses on species, genetic engineering can be between or within species.

Due to poverty issues, most developing countries cannot ban genetically modified foods, mainly because they help feed their populations. This has been the riding √Genetic engineering transfers a small number or single gene to the intended living organising while plant crossbreeding transfers hundreds of genes.


√Through science, which incorporates several laboratory testing, the gene sequence is known in genetic engineering while in plant cross breeding the genes are mostly not known.


√While plant crossbreeding focuses on species, genetic engineering can be between or within species.


Due to poverty issues, most developing countries cannot ban genetically modified foods, mainly because they help feed their populations. This has been the riding concern of most activists citing many problems with this concept. Several bad effects of genetically modified foods have been raised to be as follows;

√ Studies indicate that after the procedure, some animals have shown organ damage, immune system disorders, infertility among many defects which when meant for human consumption, some of the problems are transferred to human beings causing possible long term complications. An example are genes inserted into genetically modified soya which “can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us (human beings)” with “toxic insecticide produced by genetically modified corn being found in pregnant women blood and their unborn foetus” . Research also show that there was an increase in health problems after the introduction of genetically modified organisms in America with the number of people with chronic illnesses escalating from 7% to 13% in 9 years. While other cite the fact that these statistics are not exclusively pointing to genetically modified organisms, doctor’s emphasize on protecting your health first.

√ Genetically modified organisms have been linked to harm the environment which in turn environment scientists have stressed the effects that harm to the environment can cause. In relation to genetically modified organisms, herbicides associated with the process has a potential to harm marine ecosystem, soil organisms, insects among other species. An example that has been noted is the elimination of habitant monarch butterflies whose population has decreased to about 50% as a result of genetically modified organisms. GMO herbicides has been linked to birth defects in amphibians, endocrine disruptions and embryonic deaths. All these are effects that may even in the long run, by destroying the ecosystem, lead to adverse hunger problems.

√ Even religious groups have raised concerns over genetically modified organisms citing the disturbance in the natural order of the animals. The view cement arguments raised by environmental groups against this concept.

While some research can seek to disregard all the possible reasons why genetically√Genetic engineering transfers a small number or single gene to the intended living organising while plant crossbreeding transfers hundreds of genes.


√Through science, which incorporates several laboratory testing, the gene sequence is known in genetic engineering while in plant cross breeding the genes are mostly not known.


√While plant crossbreeding focuses on species, genetic engineering can be between or within species.


Due to poverty issues, most developing countries cannot ban genetically modified foods, mainly because they help feed their populations. This has been the riding √Genetic engineering transfers a small number or single gene to the intended living organising while plant crossbreeding transfers hundreds of genes.




√Through science, which incorporates several laboratory testing, the gene sequence is known in genetic engineering while in plant cross breeding the genes are mostly not known.




√While plant crossbreeding focuses on species, genetic engineering can be between or within species.




Due to poverty issues, most developing countries cannot ban genetically modified foods, mainly because they help feed their populations. This has been the riding concern of most activists citing many problems with this concept. Several bad effects of genetically modified foods have been raised to be as follows;


√ Studies indicate that after the procedure, some animals have shown organ damage, immune system disorders, infertility among many defects which when meant for human consumption, some of the problems are transferred to human beings causing possible long term complications. An example are genes inserted into genetically modified soya which “can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us (human beings)” with “toxic insecticide produced by genetically modified corn being found in pregnant women blood and their unborn foetus” . Research also show that there was an increase in health problems after the introduction of genetically modified organisms in America with the number of people with chronic illnesses escalating from 7% to 13% in 9 years. While other cite the fact that these statistics are not exclusively pointing to genetically modified organisms, doctor’s emphasize on protecting your health first.


√ Genetically modified organisms have been linked to harm the environment which in turn environment scientists have stressed the effects that harm to the environment can cause. In relation to genetically modified organisms, herbicides associated with the process has a potential to harm marine ecosystem, soil organisms, insects among other species. An example that has been noted is the elimination of habitant monarch butterflies whose population has decreased to about 50% as a result of genetically modified organisms. GMO herbicides has been linked to birth defects in amphibians, endocrine disruptions and embryonic deaths. All these are effects that may even in the long run, by destroying the ecosystem, lead to adverse hunger problems.


√ Even religious groups have raised concerns over genetically modified organisms citing the disturbance in the natural order of the animals. The view cement arguments raised by environmental groups against this concept.


While some research can seek to disregard all the possible reasons why genetically modified foods are bad, what humanity should learn from past scientific experiments on natural living things is the adverse effects that may happen decades later. Today the world faces global warming due to several human made problems and the reversal is proving to be more a challenge that initiating the problem. To avoid future problems, disturbances in the ecosystem should rather not be done at all.

The overwhelming investment on the procedure can well work even better for the sustainability of the world if it was channelled to organic food production. While governments may be reluctant due to the investment put in the procedure, each individual can do their part for the cause. The starting point is for people to stop purchasing genetically modified foods, while the fact that most of them may not be labelled, one can make it a thumb rule to look only for organic foods. This will naturally force the industry to consider investing in organic production instead. After all, all efforts lead to human health and sustainability.

Genetic engineering and crossbreeding

Bibliography

Anon., 2014. 10 Reasons to avoid GMOs. [Online] Available at: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs [Accessed 28 April 2015].

Anon., 2015. GMO Facts. [Online] Available at: http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/ [Accessed 26 April 2015].


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