Gmo Both Good and Bad

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Food, GMO’s and the people who can’t afford either

Food and nutrition has and always will be necessary for the existence of humans. Over the years as populations have increased, food production has adapted, by using new methods and technologies to cope with the increase in demand. While other demographics haven’t, starvation is rampant throughout the world and continues to increase daily. Among these new methods came genetic engineering the ability to alter the genes in foods; however along with capabilities came unprecedented controversy. This issue is both relevant and debateable with many sensitive and influential factors. The emphasis on genetic engineering is, has and will only grow and become more critical. For instance, world hunger could potentially be resolved through the study, production and consumption of genetically modified foods . (Avise, 2004, p. 3) The benefits and consequences of this issue prove to be more than adequately interesting and contribute to my fascination of the topic. With our current environmental habits our planet is deteriorating, it is without a doubt that changes must be implemented. This is becoming exceedingly difficult as populations continue to rise and natural resources continue to diminish. The various biomes of the world are all quite fragile, due to pollution, contamination and deforestation they have suffered tremendously killing many species and destroying many habitats. (A.Alteri, p. 2) Some sources include the possible benefits of implementing genetic engineering into food production as qualities such as a potentially bigger yield and better nutritional properties. (Martina McGloughlin, 1999, p. 1) While the benefit of investing in genetic engineering could prove very rewarding quite little is still known about the effects especially environmental ones. The definition of a genetically modified organism is, the combining genes from different organisms in order alter the organism’s genetic makeup. The terms “biotechnology”, “genetically engineered," or "transgenic” all suggest similar technologies (Shah, 2002). There is growing sense of concern and fear present as the population slowly learns about GMO’s they realise the frightening truth about food. Yet genetic engineering may very well result in a superior output but can also increase vulnerability to diseases and pests and a reliance on pesticides. (Turpen, 2009, pp. 10,11,12) That leads both popular and scholarly sources to report unprecedented doubts in genetic engineering, not to mention a vast array of ethical and moral issues. This also puts scientists and the entire population including myself in a predicament where judgement must be taken to analyze the benefits and consequences. As bad as GMO’s sound they could be a possibility, in our world today it is estimated that world hunger affects 800 million and a further 36 million will die from starvation every year, so who exactly is responsible for those who die of hunger? If there is a possibility to save these people shouldn’t it at least be considered? Can GMO’s and more resilient crops help the third world/developing nations to reduce starvation? Many biotech and genetic engineering companies such as Monsanto and Dow Agrosciences continue to allege the superior potential of GMO’s. While other activists and scientists are concerned especially regarding the safety and sustainability aspects. Some argue the technology is still new and long terms effects have not been established while others argue that it cripples the agricultural sector leaving farmers with minimal options and forces them to also purchase genetically modified herbicides and pesticides. Do the consequences of implementing GMO’s into a biome and ecosystem outweigh their benefits? In this paper I will evaluate the arguments, both for and against genetically modified foods as opposed to traditional foods while also attempting to confront the issue of starvation and world hunger. This issue is quite...
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