Genetically Modified Foods: Helpful or Harmful?

Topics: Genetically modified food, Genetic engineering, Genetically modified organism Pages: 3 (839 words) Published: October 14, 2014

Genetically Modified Foods Response

Ayanna Jackson
Period 1
5.12.14
Word Count: 743
Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for thousands of years. In the 1990s, they started being sold commercially in the United States, which was the start of this controversy: Are GM foods good or bad for us? Do the pros outweigh the cons? In my opinion, genetically modified foods are nothing to worry about. GM foods are produced from genetic engineering. Scientists take a certain gene from an organism that is desired and put it into another organism. For example, scientists might take a drought resistant gene from a plant and insert it into a crop, so that crop will not die during a period of low rainfall. There are various ways to add in these desired genes, such as crossbreeding, which has been used since the beginning of agriculture, bacterial transfer of DNA into a cell, and a newer method of shooting DNA particles into a cell with particle gun, developed by Cornell University (Freedman, 83). There are numerous advantages of genetically modified foods. Crops can become impervious to insects. According to Whitman, “Consumers do not wish to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of potential health hazards, and run-off of agricultural wastes from excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers can poison the water supply and cause harm to the environment.” Making the crops pest resistant makes more people want to buy them and is safer on the environment. Since farmers can use less pesticide, the cost of the food decreases and less people go hungry. “It has raised the output of corn, cotton and soy by 20 to 30 percent, allowing some people to survive who would not have without it (Freedman, 82).”

Another advantage is adding vitamins and minerals to foods that lack them. Foods become more nutritious. For example, “Malnutrition is common in third world countries where impoverished peoples rely on a...
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