Throughout history, scientific research and the exploration of new technologies have always been areas of extreme controversy and heated debate. This can be primarily attributed to the fact that they touch upon and affect many aspects of people’s lives, not to mention their direct interference with political, social and religious matters. One of the latest and most ferociously debated technologies, that the scientific community has offered humanity, is the technology of Genetically Modified Organisms and in particular genetically modified foods.
A Genetically Modified food is crop plant modified in a laboratory using molecular biology techniques with the goal of producing an organism with specific traits for various reasons. It is therefore only logical, given its nature that such a practice would both raise some serious ethical and moral questions as well as propose very viable solutions to chronic problems the world faces today. An area in which Genetically Modified Organisms are relatively prevalent is agriculture. Genetically Modified foods are created to serve the purpose of creating a crop plant for animal or plant utilization.
According to Deborah B. Whitman, outcomes of the genetic modifications are desirable and seemingly harmless characteristics such as making the crop more pest resistant, disease resistant, herbicide resistant, or more nutritionally valuable. In addition to these advantages, this technology also has the potential to solve a very serious issue facing less developed countries; the issue of medication and pharmaceutics. Since the development and mass production of vaccination is very costly and requires a high degree of scientific advancement, many third world countries face a challenge when it comes to that aspect.
GM food researchers have the ability to potentially integrate medications and vaccines into crops, thus solving this problem. The use of these techniques can also yield more crops which can help solve food shortages. With the global population hitting almost 6 billion, many parts of the world are bound to face food shortage problems. A continent such as Africa that suffers from a constant increase in population, combined with bad soil and dreadful weather conditions could surely benefit from such technologies. GM foods would definitely help solve this continent’s plight.
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