Explanatory Essay

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EN 102

Explanatory Essay 
Are genetically modified food beneficial or unsafe for us and our planet?   
Genetically modified foods are foods coming from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)   which have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques; they  are usually genetically modified crops, or fish. They were first produced in 1983 after scientists  discovered that DNA  can be transferred between organisms in 1946. They were well received by the  public back then but now, there is a big question surrounding the ethic of genetically modified foods: Are genetically modified food beneficial or unsafe for us and our planet?   

In my opinion, the production of genetically modified food should be put to a hold until scientists decide to really work towards finding an efficient way to monitor them. The fact is that genetic  engineering is not natural. It is a radical, revolutionary, and highly artificial approach to changing our  foods. I am very concerned on the impact they have on the environment, a simple example will be the  ever increasing adaption of insects and parasites against pesticides. Once they are used on insects in crops, the insects immune systems adapt to the chemical composition of pesticides (gmo), and become resistant to it, as a result, manufacturers straighten the pesticides chemical concentrations, which will be  efficient until the next adaption, it is a vicious cycle. An another aspect of it will be the making of genetically modified organisms, which are created by artificial laboratory techniques to cut and splice  genes from different organisms to make new artificial genes. When these artificial genes are introduced into plants and animals’ cells they reprogram the functioning of those cells so as to change the characteristics of that plant or animal. If this is done with a food-producing organism, the qualities of the food will be altered. Once an artificial gene has been constructed in the test tube, it must be inserted into the food-producing organism. And this is a highly imprecise process whose results are extremely unpredictable and uncontrollable. 

Some believe that these foods are the greatest thing that has ever happened to humanity. They say that they will create another green revolution that will provide abundant food without harming the  environment. Others believe that genetically engineered foods are unsafe and harmful not only to the environment but also to human beings. While still others believe that working towards monitoring genetically engineered food will guarantee their safeness until proved otherwise.

Some people believe that GMOs are good for us, just like the Agricultural Biotechnology Council which has released an article in favor of GMO’s saying that “Genetically Modified Foods Provide safe and Healthy Choices for Consumers”. In that article, the ABC basically listed the benefits of GMOs starting by saying they could “potentially increase the health value of certain foods and protect fruits and vegetables from diseases that will lead to a larger supply of quality food from each harvest.” which is true, but what about the specific altered genes that are used? Are they all benefic? The answer is no, but for the purpose of the article, that aspect is carefully kept to the side… The article goes on saying that genetically modified crops are benefic to consumers. How? Because they protect fruits and vegetables from diseases, as proven by a study where “recent trials have been successfully undertaken of GM potatoes with intrinsic resistance to devastating diseases such as blight.”, they are an healthier choice of oils and foods because they contain Omega-3 fatty acids, also it affirms that “a GM tomato supplemented with genes from snapdragon flowers (rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin)” that “could have cancer-fighting properties”. The purpose of the article is clearly to convince the...