Should Genetically -Modified Foods Be Banned?
In the past decade genetically modified foods have been have made a world of stir about whether these foods are beneficial to our society or if they are actually hurtful.There is plenty information that is available to help support both sides of the issue but for every positive thing there is also a negative consequence.With genetically-modified foods being a trendy topic and being like all great debates it has its prons and cons, so it all comes down to whether the good will supercede the bad, or vice versa.
The word GM foods or sometimes labeled GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is created for human and/or animal use by using the most advanced molecular biology procedures. The plants and/or crops sometimes have been altered in the laboratory to enhance certain important traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improve nutritional value. The enhancement is usually undertaken through breeding, soometimes a conventional plant breeding methods can be very time consuming and are often not very accurate as well as very costly.On the other hand, a system know as genetic engineering can create plants with the exact sought after trait faster and with pin point accuracy. Take for example, we can select a certain a gene that is the cause of drought tolerance and insert that gene into a totally different plant thus resulting in the new GMO gaining drought resistance. Also genes from non-plant organisms also can be used, one of most well known examples of this is the use in corn and other crops. B.t., or Bacillus thuringiensis, is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces crystal proteins that are lethal to insect larvae.
The United States accounts for nearly two-thirds of all biotechnology crops planted globally. According to the fact sheet which was produced by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, about 672 million acres of land are under cultivation,since 1996 the United States has consistently planted more GM crops than any other country, with 105.7 million acres supporting GM crops in 2003. Argentina is the next largest producer, with 34.4 million acres, followed by Canada with 10.9 million acres, Brazil with 8.4 million acres, China with 6.9 million acres, and South Africa with 1.0 million acres in 2003. All in all these six countries grew 99 percent of the global GM crop area in 2007. Australia, Mexico, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, Uruguay, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Columbia, and Honduras also planted significant acreage in GM crops in 2003.
There can be many advantages about the gentically modified organisms and people who are for the production like Henry Miller say that "the regulation made on genetically modified foods should be based on genuine risk about the genetically modified organisms and not on the process which they are made."Some of these advantages include are not limited to pest resistance as mentioned earlier this really helps because crop losses from insect pests can result in a devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing countries.Also herbicide tolerance, is important in most crops,the reason being baecause it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides to destroy the weeds, a time-consuming and expensive process, that requires care so that the herbicide doesn't harm the crop plant or the environment that the plant lives in so with the help of plants that are genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help dilute damage to the environment by cutting down the amount of herbicides used. Tolerance to the cold also helps the plants because unexpected frost can eliminate sensitive seeds, but with a antifreeze gene, these plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings.
People would also argue that as the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document