Gmo: a Savior or Destroyer
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James Ross Period 2 16 January 2019 AP Environmental Science GMFS: Our Savior or Destroyer GMFs are genetically modified foods created by Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen back in 1973. This technological advance led to more genetically modified foods and organisms being created and manufactured. GMFs are created either by direct genetic code modification or selective breeding. Direct genetic code modification occurs when a certain part of the genetic code is cut out, copied into bacteria, made into bullets, loaded into a gene gun, and shot into a cell where the genetic information incorporates itself into the genetic code of the cell. Thus adding that trait to the organism.
Selective breeding occurs when two organisms are bred together in order for a certain trait to stand out. For example, seedless fruit and a big fruit could be bred in order to make larger seedless fruit. The reason that these man-made organisms are under high debate is that some claim GMOs and GMFs are helping worldwide hunger, environmental sustainability, and issues concerning the increasing human population while others claim GMOs are chemicals that pollute and harm ecosystems which in turn, harm the human population. Pro-GMF statements usually follow the lines on how it helps hunger and how it doesn’t harm the human population, also it is a technological advancement in the agriculture industry.
Anti-GMF statements follow the pattern on how it can cause cancer and many other health-related issues. Both sides have their evidence, but in my opinion, I believe GMFs and GMOs are bad for the population. But before I discuss my own opinion, I will be discussing the pros and cons of GMFs. GMFs can solve hunger problems and improve the food we eat, but at the same time it causes health problems and is unnecessary. Many people argue that GMFs are a way to solve world hunger and also help improve the quality of the food we eat. According to Healthline, GMOs can help us “find sustainable ways to feed people. Specifically, in countries that lack access to nutrient-rich foods.” This shows that GMOs are not all that bad.
GMOs can help countries in poverty access nutrients. GMOs can help address the poorer community and also help developing countries become more developed. In one source, it is stated that “GMOs improve the quality of the food that is grown” (Vittana). GMOs not only provide people with mass amounts of food but it also improves the quality of that food. Improving food quality can lead to less food waste, which is 40% of the food in the US. Not only that, but GMOs also are easier to grow and the crops are more likely to succeed. All these traits make GMOs a fairly productive way to grow our food. GMOs also help the crops become stronger and more sustainable. GMOs can provide protection to crops by giving them more resilient traits (Weebly).
With GMOs, organisms can become resistant to pests and can also make their own herbicide so that they can grow easier. This can occur without pesticides, so in using GMOs people can also lessen pesticide use. All in all, not only do GMOs help deliver foods to people in need but it can also improve the nutrients in the food we eat. On the other hand, GMFs also cause health problems and is an unnecessary factor in agricultural technology. Many sites include information on how GMOs relate to premature deaths and cancer one of which states, “In 2013, the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted a paper that linked the herbicide Roundup and Roundup-tolerant GM corn to cancer and premature death in rats” (Healthline). This shows that GMFs shouldn’t be sold at all because it may cause cancer for human beings. Obviously, anything that can cause cancer should not be used or consumed by humans. Other sources include issues on allergies, “GMOs that contained proteins from Brazil nuts were found to trigger an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to them” (Vittana).
These allergic reactions could harm the population greatly and many unaware citizens will be harmed by these GMFs. GMFs will be more harm than help if they try to distribute it to the poorer communities. According to the information above, if they give it to the less fortunate, it could cause those people to die from cancer, health issues, and issues relating to cost. On top of all this, if GMFs are good, why does Monsanto, a huge GMO corporation, serve only organic food in their cafeteria. CBC news confirmed this, “Monsanto confirms the authenticity of the notice, but company spokesman Tony Coombes says the only reason for the GM-free foods is because the company ‘believes in choice.’” This brings up many questions for both the company and GMOs in general. If they are so great, how come they aren’t served in their own cafeterias? That is because they are not good for consumption, GMO corporations must realize that these solutions to hunger are not solutions at all. In conclusion, GMOs have their fair share of good and bad, but in this case, the Anti-Gmo statements are more convincing.
In my opinion, I believe GMOs should not be distributed to the population because they cause more harm than good. After researching GMOs for my debate and essay, I found out many surprising facts on GMOs. At first, I only opposed GMOs because they were man-made and not a natural product of Mother Nature, but after researching I realized they are much worse than I had originally thought. They can cause cancer and other health issues. In my research, it said that they tested their crops on rats who then got cancer from it (Vittana). First of all, I believe it is wrong to test it on animals because it is immoral and secondly after they got cancer, they continued to retest and distribute it in local stores and grocery markets. Scientists say that GMOs are harmless to consume but as they are a newer technology, how can we be sure that they don’t have effects that show up after a longer period of time? (Lavu). Lavu also emphasizes that these GMFs and GMOs could allow modified gene strains to escape into the wild and then produce superweeds, which would not only be harder to kill but could also disrupt crops. After researching, I came to the conclusion that these “so-called technological advancements” are no more than a batch of chemicals that aren’t studied enough to be shown safe or able to be consumed.
I believe the government should start with a temporary ban on GMOs and GMFs nationally until they are researched further. After all, we can’t afford to release these products if we don’t know what the effects are and what is inside of it. Once scientists have a deeper understanding of GMFs, the government should enact a national law that allows GMOs to be sold, but only in GMO only stores and only the GMOs that have been proven completely safe for consumption. This law should be enacted in order to protect the human population from unsteady or unsafe GMOs and it would also help people identify GMO products and organic ones, allowing them a clearer choice. Since they could cause cancer, the period of research could identify which ones are unsafe and which are. Also, the research can help identify measures needed to protect both the humans’ and crops’ health. The national law could help the community decide whether they want to eat GMOs or organic foods, which could reduce accidental health issues and would help the industry become a more steady source of food, benefitting both the community and corporation. All in all, GMFs can help and harm, but as of now, it will harm the community. In order to have a safer community, we will need to understand these GMFs and research any issues related to them in order to ensure their safety.