Genetically Modified Food and Crops

Topics: Genetically modified food, Genetically modified organism, Genetic engineering Pages: 6 (1786 words) Published: April 11, 2014
Genetically Modified Food and Crops

Genetically Modified Food and Crops Title Page:

Following the American Psychological Association's Guidelines

Abstract

Since the 1980's scientists have been altering crops, including some of the food we eat (Fairly & Gaskins, 2000). Genetically modified food has always been a concern for many people. I find the concerns to be unwarranted because there has never been a negative health report due to the fact of consuming GM foods. Biotechnology gives us the best means for solving the world's food shortage now and in the future. Genetically modified crop plants are now grown on nearly 150 million acres in the United States alone, helping farmers to increase yields, reduce pesticide spraying, and save topsoil (Conko & Miller, 2011). What are we actually eating? Looking at ingredients on the back of a product was almost considered out of the ordinary ten to fifteen years ago. But now it is one of the most important factors in the decision on whether or not a consumer will buy the product. In all the research I conducted there was never a proven harmful effect from genetic engineering. However, the benefits are scientifically proven which gives genetically modified crops the advantage over traditional farming. The proposed ideas and research by scientist show that a lot more can be done with GM food other than eating it. Globalization of GM crops is becoming apparent as well as GM crop commercialization.

_Keywords: GM Food, GM Crops, Genetically engineered crops, Biotechnology, GM organisms._

"Genetically modified organisms can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called "biotechnology" and it allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another" (World Health Organization, 2002). For more than twenty years of scientific, humanitarian, and financial success genetic engineering has been applied to agriculture. This has been accomplished without injury to a single person or damage to the ecosystem. However, activists are still fighting the use of genetically modified crops (Conko & Miller 2011). Millions of people around the world suffer from malnutrition and with the steep projected increase of our world's population in the next fifty years a change needs to be made. Genetically modified crops increase yield, nutrition and uses fewer pesticides all without proven negative effects. GM crops and all its benefits make it the gateway for the world's agriculture success.

Genetically modified crops are becoming the building blocks for agriculture advancements. Scientists are continually working to create more benefits for consumers as well as farmers. The main concern of GM foods is negative health risks however, they are actually more beneficial. GM foods have longer shelf life, contain higher nutritional value and are safer to eat. For example, "GM corn has lower fungal toxin content then non-GM corn, and farmers typically produce GM crops using fewer pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers" (Tyson, 2001). By drastically reducing the use of chemicals on the plants it provides a major improvement for the consumer's safety and nourishment. Because scientists slightly tweak the DNA of the plants with other genes it is possible that food allergens may end up in GM products. Steve Taylor, a scientists at the University of Nebraska states that, "the food-allergy threat is small because food

engineers now avoid using genes from nuts and other common food allergens. The benefits of genetic engineering justify the risk" (Fairley & Gaskins 2000). Products from biotechnology are no less safe than traditionally bred crops. According to Dr. Prakash, "genetically improved products are subjected to intensive testing, while conventional varieties have never been subjected to any such regulation for food safety or environmental impact" (Prakash, 2000). Every GM...
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