Understanding Genetically Modified Organisms

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Genetically Modified Organisms. Just the name sounds like something out of a science fiction novel.

There was a time when it was. Modified or altered DNA has always been a favorite subject in various novels, movies, and tv shows from the likes of Spiderman to the clone army of Star Wars. However thanks to modern technology, we have been able to copy and even edit the DNA of plants and animals. Possibly the most significant example of this is the Biotech industry; responsible for the creation of GMO crops.

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At first glance, it seems to be the ideal solution for many problems in agriculture. Corn is modified to be toxic to harmful insects that eat up the farmer’s hard worked fields, a potato can be made to be more resistant to bruising than its natural counterpart, and crops can be edited to be bigger and therefore more appealing to customers. It also has been a long-standing claim that GMOs could be the key in solving world hunger. It sounds enticing, reasonable, and in a word ideal. However, are we entirely certain about the safety of the food we eat? To this day the DNA remains to be a subject we have hardly scratched the surface on, and are we really fully aware of the possible consequences of altering the basic building blocks of life? It is the answers to these questions that will reveal that we should stop producing GMO crops in America since they are an endangerment to our health, and to farming communities at home and abroad.


Thesis: We should stop producing GMO crops in America since they are an endangerment to our health, and to farming communities at home and abroad.

History and Terms

In the past, humans had a hand in controlling what desired traits should be passed on through “artificial selection.” These terms, coined by Charles Darwin, describe the process of choosing the organisms with the most desired traits and allowing them to reproduce with others with the same desired traits. This process would result in the production of offspring that have the desired traits. While artificial selection is not what we typically consider GMO technology as we know it today, it contributes to the inspiration of modern biotech in the agricultural industry and the earliest example of humans tampering with genetics. It is through this process that what we know as corn today exists as well as the multiple variations of apples.

In 1973, Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen engineered the first successful genetically engineered organism. These two scientists developed a way to cut out a gene from one organism and insert it into another. A method that’s now used to create GMO crops.

After this discovery,

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