Gm Food: Blessing or Bane?

Topics: Genetic engineering, Genetically modified food, Genetically modified organism Pages: 2 (707 words) Published: September 18, 2011
Genetically Modified Food is a blessing. GM food is crops modified to enhance desired traits, and promises to meet the demand for food for this booming population in the near future. GM food allows modified crops to be pest-resistant, herbicide-tolerant, disease-resistant, cold-tolerant and drought-tolerant or salinity-tolerant. Pest-resistant crops prevent farmers from incurring huge losses from insect pests. This trait also allows non-usage of chemical pesticides, which are typically used in tons annually, and therefore no longer pose as potential health hazards to consumers. Thus, the new GM food decreases the health risks of consumers, and also reduces the harm caused to the environment from run-off agricultural wastes, pesticides and fertilizers. Removing weeds from plants by physical means, or spraying large quantities of herbicides to destroy weeds is costly and yet time-consuming. Crops can be genetically modified to be resistant to certain powerful herbicides. Thus, by reducing the amount of herbicides used, environmental damage is also reduced. Plants introduced to antifreeze genes are able to tolerate cold temperatures that would normally kill unmodified seedlings, therefore preventing the possibility of sensitive seedlings being destroyed by unexpected frost or freezing weather conditions. Also, plants that are genetically-modified can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content in soil and groundwater, therefore making full use of limited land that is previously unsuited for plant cultivation. In addition, crops can be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, thus reducing nutrient deficiencies in third world countries or areas experiencing poverty, where malnutrition is very common. Last but not least, this technology is also applicable to trees, which can be genetically engineered to clean up heavy metal prolusion from contaminated soil, therefore reducing the harm caused to our environment Thus, in...
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