Many people in the United States are not knowledgeable in or even care much about nutrition labels or what goes into their food, but GMOs whether productive are destructive have become almost impossible to avoid. GMOs are genetically modified organisms that have been commercialized and expanded in the passed two decades. There are many opposing views on whether GMOs are ethical. These issues have even stemmed controversy in politics, but what are the cons that have left people with a bad perception of GMOs and what kind of negative effects could they be causing. The most common type of gene modification occurs in food. Gene modification has not been around for that long or has not been tested extremely. Many of the side effects of modifying genes if any at all are still unknown due to how young it is.
The FDA has approved this modification in many crops such as corn, tomatoes, and apples. These type of modifications can cause the crops to lose their nutritional value. According to the article, Pros and Cons of GMO Crop Farming, “Genetic modification often adds or mixes proteins that were not native to the original plant, which might cause new allergic reactions in the human body” (Lehrer & Bannon, 2005). Since modifying crops is still fairly new, the genetic makeup might accidentally create more or less of certain nutrients, that the body would need to maintain homeostasis. Additionally, the human body can also become allergic to these new substances and react negatively.
These genetically modified foods can even be found in animal food as well that may affect the consumers. Corn is a common genetically modified food that is feed to many life stock we consume such as cows, pigs, and chickens. Since we do not fully understand any effect that these GMOs have on livestock. We also do not understand what will happen when we eat said animals that are obtaining their sole nutrients from genetically modified corn. More testing and data is required for anyone to make an accurate statement on the health risks of GMOs on humans.
One of the most powerful arguments against Genetically modified organisms is the moral aspect to genetically modifying an organism. Many people claim it is not in our rights as a human to change nature. There are some who state it is not within our jurisdiction to play God and edit organisms genomes. In response to this claim I found a quote by Michael Specter that states “All the food we eat - every grain of rice and kernel of corn - has been genetically modified. None of it was here before mankind learned to cultivate crops. The question isn't whether our food has been modified, but how.” It seems as though GMOs may be inescapable in our modern age.
Despite the cry from many concerned individuals over GMOs, there are a few reasons why some people claim they are not all bad and may have the potential to be a positive thing in the food market. GMO supporters will state that GMO crops yield bigger crops and are cheaper to grow as well which may aid in the ever increasing demand for food as our country’s population continues to grow. According to an article by the foundation education “Genetically modified crops are cheaper to grow despite the higher initial modified seed costs. It seems that modified crops are sturdier, standing up to more weather extremes and requiring less expensive pesticides and herbicides.” All of the pros for GMOs are very enticing, and have dramatically changed how the food industry operates, yet many people still aren't convinced.
There are many people demanding food providers to label foods with GMOs in them. According to the website, Nongmoproject.org, “While a 2015 ABC News survey found that 93% of Americans believe genetically modified foods should be labelled…” There are waves of people who are concerned with what negative consequences GMOs may provide when they are consumed. There are many people who seek organic fruits and vegetables to avoid any risk that GMOs may provide.
Although GMOs currently have a bad reputation in the past decades they have revolutionized our crop efficiency and our ability to yield more food. The major argument against GMOS according to my understanding is that there is no sure answer to if they can negatively affect humans after long term consumption. If scientists could finally complete tests proving GMOs were safe for human consumption, they would be able to release a statement that clears GMOs of its bad name. GMOs if safe for human consumption can be continually developed by science to help many malnutritioned countries who often have a difficult time providing crops.
Whether we agree with GMOs or not they are here to stay, unless a new study provides definitive proof that GMOs are unfit for human consumption we can be looking towards even more genetically modified organisms to hit the supermarket aisles. Plants will not be the only GMOs, in the near future we may have “disease-resistant pigs, bird-flu resistant chickens, hornless dairy cows and highly productive sheep.” This may seem scary to some but to others this is a revolution in the food market that can both be highly profitable and useful in the fight versus malnutrition.
There are many points of interest when considering if GMOs are a positive or negative thing, but I myself believe in the positivity that science can bring to the dinner table.” As long as GMOs are safe and our eyes are peeled for any issues I personally see no reason why science should not continue its efforts. The future of genetically modified organisms can lead to drive food prices lower and even be used in impoverished overpopulated countries in an effort to end world hunger which in my opinion would not be half bad. In conclusion I find it hard to come up with a definitive answer to whether GMOs are positive or negative, but I can appreciate peoples concern for their health but we cannot deny the potential that comes from genetically modified organisms. In fact our fear for the unknown may hold us back from even greater discovery. Science will never stop, there are always people working towards developing new technology and the ability to edit genres is in our realm of capabilities whether we are scared of the future or whether we embrace it time will till regarding genetically modified organisms in the good market.
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