Should there be limits to genetic modification of food?
Should there be limits to genetic modification of food? It may seem very attractive to be able to genetically modify crops, but at what cost? Giant transnational companies are carrying out a dangerous global experiment by introducing large numbers of genetically engineered food into our diet. Genetic manipulations can result in unanticipated harmful effects, and because genetically engineered foods are not tested sufficiently, this experiment not only jeopardizes the health of individuals, but could also lead to global food shortages and extensive ecological hazards. Argument 1: As it’s practiced today, agriculture damages the environment more than any other human activity. Genetically engineered crops will ease that negative impact. Insect resistant GM crops, such as those containing the bacterial But gene, which makes the plant itself toxic to key pests, allow farmers to dramatically reduce their use of spray insecticides. Next-generation seeds may allow farmers to maintain high yields while using less water and chemical fertilizer. Potential problems with GM crops, such as the creation of ‘super weeds’ and ‘super pests’, are overblown by opponents, but to the extent those dangers are real they can be managed and prevented. For example, farmers can avoid promoting Bt-resistance in insects by planting non-GM acreage near each GM plot. Argument 2: Additionally by using gen-technology we can also put a stop to deforestation, which is a rapidly increasing problem. Gen-technology allows us to create trees that provide more wood, trees that produce more oxygen or trees that grow faster. This allows us to keep up with the growing demand for fibre and counter the effects of soil erosion and global warming. Counter-argument + refutation: It is often said that genetically modified(GM) food is dangerous and that is causes a range of diseases. The reason why this is often said is that either people are not...
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