Pros and Cons of GMOs
Genetically modified organism is organisms, plant and animals whose genes have been altered in order to get better results. To get larger organisms and make them mature quicker, they are changed. Most nations do not recognize such organisms because they say that they tend to hurt people. They many have harm but at the same time they tend to have some benefits when there is a shortage of the food supply since they mature fast. They therefore assist to satisfy the high demand for food. Most of this organism are not labeled that they are genetically modified. Genetically modified organism has many advantages and disadvantages those scientists and nations are contemplating on the use on human food.
Pros of Genetically Modified Organisms GMOs
Genetically modified organism has been greatly tested by a scientist who has found their effects to be safe to humans. The studies indicate the organisms are safe for consumption. Many countries that are experiencing food shortage have been encouraged to grow and develop genetically modified foods which mature faster to meet their needs (Sonal 76).
Genetically modified organism help increase food supply. These organisms grow very fast than the normal organisms hence is a solution to the increasing population and demand for more food. The fast growing will also increase the income for the farmers since they will get their produce within a short period. Genetically modified organisms create plants that are better resistant to pests, weeds, and other diseases. This will help to reduce the budget used in farming (Braman 42). The farmers will also not be exposed to harmful pesticides and soil will remain natural and fertile for longer.
Genetically modified organism also creates efficient use of land and fewer uses of herbicides and pesticides. Genetically modified crops grow very big and occupy its space in the farm. Fewer pesticides and herbicides are used because all the crops get just what it requires. It eventually helps the soil retain its fertility unlike the soils exposed to pollution of the herbicides. Genetically modified organisms create food with better texture, flavor, and nutritional value. The food will help adding the nutritional value since most genetically modified foods have a high value of protein in them (Duvauchalle 213). The consumers will not need to add a supplement of proteins in their meals.
Genetically modified organisms create food with longer shelf life. This means the foods will stay fresh for longer before they can expire. The food can be transported to further destinations and are able to reach consumers while fresh. Farmers are able to export their produce and earn more income. Genetically modified foods can also be grown in unnatural places. This is of benefit since they can’t limit the place where you can grow. Some crops are modified to grow in saline soils, and the land is used better.
Genetically modified crops do not use fertilizers especially the nitrogen fertilizers which emit nitrogen oxide to the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. It decreases emission of greenhouse gas which cause global warming (Theresa 350). By using this type of crops, it helps reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses hence preventing the effects of global warming.
Cons of Genetically Modified Organisms GMOs
Genetically modified organism has many proteins than the indigenous organism hence causes allergic reactions. The foods have additions of proteins that were not originally found in the prototype plants or animals, causing allergic reaction to humans. For instance, proteins from an organism that one is allergic to may be added into an organism that one was not initially allergic to causing the same allergic reaction experienced by the first organism. It eventually restricts people to the limited foods that they are not reactive to their bodies (Julia 1).
Some of these organisms have added antibiotic features that are added to them to make them immune to diseases and virus. When humans eat these foods, the features persist in their bodies making the antibiotic medication less effective to them. Hence, they are susceptible to diseases. Some modified genes may escape to the wild and cross over to weeds. The weeds also develop resistance to pesticides and can be hard to control.
There are cases of animals dying after eating genetically modified foods. This happened in United Kingdom where genetically modified potatoes were given to cows, and they died. It was later found out that the potatoes destroyed the immune system of the cows causing them pre-cancerous growth in digestive tracts (World Health Organization 1). This case and others have shown how the modification is harmful to other organisms, and the world food program is discouraging its use.
Genetically modified wheat have been found to have a protein called gliadin which stimulate appetite hence people can eat up to 400 calories per day. Consuming high calories causes obesity, which is not healthy; one is at risk of diseases like high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. From a study conducted at the Russian academy of science and national association of gene security, genetically modified soybeans were found to reduce mortality rate and increase inability to conceive (Weasel 200). The results were found after doing research on hamsters for three generations.
Research that regards all the aspects of the genetic modification of food, and although they prove to be safe, there is a big concern that these organisms have not been tested for long-term possible effects because the technology is new. The tests depend on the individual judgment and those sensitive to food taste. However, there is likelihood that consumers may suffer its effects in the end. Some take it as a business venture and add harmful genes without caring the adverse effects to human beings (Cummings 99).
Genetically modified organism alters the taste of food. Culinary institutions suffer from the choice of what ingredients to use for the taste of food are most important to them. Most people will also prefer organic food. In my opinion, genetically modified organisms have many negative effects that nations should discourage its use and venture into alternative ways to provide food to the fast growing population. The government and ministry should extend irrigation to dry areas and use greenhouses to increase food supply of organic food.
Also Study: Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods
- Sonal Pense. Advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified organisms. New York, Bright hub. 2014. Print.
- Braman, S. Biotechnology and communication. Sanfrancisco, Lawrence Erlbaum association. 2004. Print
- Conko, G.M. The rush to condemn genetically modified crops. Alabama, Adventure Works Press. 201. Print.
- Cook, G. Genetically Modified Language. London, UK, Routledge. 2004.
- Cummings, C.H. Engineering and the future of seeds. Wales, Beacon press. 2008. Print
- Duvauchalle, J. Pros & cons of GMO foods. Journal of food analysis, 23(2) pp. 211-231; 2014. Web.
- Morris, G. The disadvantages of genetically modified organic foods. International journal on healthy foods, 1(2) pp. 12-45; 2007. Web.
- Weasel, L. H. Food Fray, inside the controversy over genetically modified food. JFTM, 29(12), pp. 200-260; 2009. Web.
- Theresa, P. Write Science Right, Genetically Modified Organisms: Transgenic crops and recombinant DNA. Food for thought, 34(23) pp. 342-56; 2008. Web.
- Devlin, Y. Extraordinary salmon growth. Journal of Nature, 371, pp. 209-210; 1994.
- Spurgeon, D. Call for Tighter Controls on Transgenic foods. Journal of Nature, 409(3), pp. 749; 2001
- Muir, W., & Howard, R. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences. Possible ecological risks of transgenic organism release when transgenes affect mating success: sexual selection and the Trojan gene hypothesis. International journal on GMO, 23(4), pp. 234-267; 1999
- Guerrero-Andrade, O., et al. Expression of the Newcastle disease virus fusion protein in transgenic maize and immunological studies. Transgenic research 15, 455-463; doi:10.1007/s11248-006-0017-0. 2006. Web.
- Hoban, T. Public attitudes towards agricultural biotechnology. Agricultural and development economics division, food and agricultural organization of the United Nations. ESA working papers, 4-9 (2004);
- Non-GMO project. Genetically modified. Retrieved on 11 April, 2015 from; www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/. 2007. Web
- World Health Organization. Food safety. Retrieved on 11 April, 2015 from www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/. 2010. Web
- Julia M. Diaz, Genetically Modified Organism. Retrieved on 11, April, 2015, from; global.britannica.co/EBchecked/topic/897705/genetically-modified-organism-GMO. 2014
- The university of California. Gene level in GMO. Retrieved on 11 April, 2015 from; www.bt.ucsd.edu/gmo.html. 2013.
- James Kay. International service for the acquisition of agribiotech applications. Retrieved on 11 April, 2015 from; www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/1/. 2010. Web
- James, C. Global status of commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: ISAAA Brief No. 46. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY, 2013.