Genetically Modified Organism Debate

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Short Essay 2: Genetically Modified Organism Debate

A genetically modified organism is used to refer an organism whose

genetic material has been changed by genetic engineering techniques, which

cut and combine DNA molecules from different organism into one molecule

(Wikipedia, 2012). This way, scientists can give it new characteristics that

people desire but do not have normally. Since the benefits brought by

genetically modified organism are extremely obviously, such as lower

production costs and higher yields (National Research Council, 2010),

genetically modified organism has become more and more popular and

penetrated into every piece of people’s life. Nowadays, “Over 70 percent of

corn, soy, and other staple grains on the market today have been genetically

modified (Topline Foods)”. As the glory of GMO starts to fade, people starts to

concern about the negative effects genetically modified organism might

potentially exist. Issues and discussions are raised that whether genetically

modified organism should be labeled out on the wrap of food product and

whether genetically modified organism should completely replace

conventional organism.

It is undeniable that the invention of genetically modified organism not

only has positive impacts on environment but also brings benefits to the

economy and the society. On the one hand, after genetically modified crops

were brought up, there is no need for farmers to use as much as insecticides

and herbicides (which will drift into soil and waterways) as before.

it improves the quality of water (National Research Council, 2010). On the

hand, farmers can get lower costs to produce crops or higher yields, or

both if using genetically modified seeds, which have the characteristics

of insect control. Therefore, farmers could earn more money (economic

benefits). Although the advantages of growing genetically modified organism

is tremendous, there are still people concerning whether this movement

against “nature” will have hidden health hazard or other unexpected outcome;

therefore they refuse genetically modified food and choose conventional food.

In order to tell these two kinds of food apart, Proposition 37 was suggested in

California: it would require “labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale

to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in

specified ways (Bittman, M. 2012)”.

In my opinion, keep studying genetically modified organism is a

direction of the development of agriculture. Although world agriculture

produces enough food to provide everyone in the world with at least 2720

kilocalories per person per day, there are still people in hunger because they

don’t have sufficient land to grow or income to purchase (World Hunger

Education Service ,2012). The development of genetically modified organism

could solve this problem. In countries like India, farmers need higher profit to

make livings. According to Democracy Now! (Goodman, A., 2011), every thirty

minutes, there is one Indian farmer that will commit suicide because

indebtedness, which is caused by the withdraw of money the government

could have given to agricultural sector. In this situation, long-run health risk

is not a significant issue. Instead, the real problem is that whether they will

have next meal. High-yield genetically modified organism will help buffer the

urgency. But in other countries like America, most people do not need to

worry what is for next meal. Moreover, they will care about how the quality of

the food. In this case, labels for genetically modified organism are more

necessary so that people could decide what kind of the food they want:

whether conventional one or genetically modified one.

In conclusion, genetically modified food as good as the conventional

one. People could choose one over each other reasonably...
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