Jefferson, Valeria. "An Overview of the Genetically Modified Food Debate." 2009. Genetically Engineered Foods. Ed. Nancy Harris. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. At Issue. Rpt. from "The Ethical Dilemma of Genetically Modified Food."Journal of Environmental Health 69.1 (July-Aug.2006): 33-34. Opposing Viewpoints In Context.
This article was written by Valeria Jefferson, a corresponding author for the Journal of Environmental Health, and the president of the National Capital Area Environmental Health Association located in Clinton, Maryland. It provides an in-depth view of the potential benefits and intentions of GMFs, and the rationale behind those who oppose it. This article provides information for the reasons on both sides of the argument, giving me a better understanding of the effects GMOs could have on humanity and the planet, for better or worse.
"With an ever-increasing global population, hunger in the developing world, and the health risks of pesticides, some experts view genetically modified food as a panacea," Jefferson explains. Genetically modified foods grow faster and larger than non-GMFs, and may be more resistant to pests, heat, cold, and drought. This is accomplished by genetic engineering; genes that are transferred between (ANY) organisms. For example, a gene of a fish that lives in cold waters could be inserted into a strawberry so it can survive frost.
Jefferson explains the current predicament of world hunger, and the potential alleviation possible from GMFs. "Many eat less than the minimum quantity required for survive, resulting in a mortality rate of 36 million deaths per year[…] In addition to alleviating world hunger, the production of GMFs can easily meet agricultural demands associated with with population increase."
Those opposed to GMF argue that the potential risks simply outweigh the potential benefits-- that the damage that has caused to the environment through the use