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Pros and Cons to Gmo

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Pros and Cons of GMO

        The new advancements in technology have helped pave the way for what we now call genetically modified food. A genetically modified food is any food that has been altered in some shape or form from its original natural counterpart. Usually only one gene is changed or altered in the genetically modified food but that small change can make a world of difference both beneficially or harmful. There are two major sides to genetically modified foods: those who endorse them and those that oppose them. Genetically modified foods are seen as the future to world hunger, and are more nutritious. While proponents say they are harmful and cause lasting health risks and environmental concerns. The issue of genetically modified food is going to be discussed for years to come until more concrete information is provided but here are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods and why they matter to the international community.

        Genetically modified foods are often seen as the key to world hunger and poverty. The main reason people believe that genetically modified crops are the way to feed the world is because of their resistance to droughts, herbicides and pesticides. The genetically modified food is altered so that it can tolerate very high levels of pest killers which then in return allows the harvest to be more successful. What happens is the genes are altered so they can tolerate high levels of chemicals and their normal functions are not harmed by them. The issue that arises here is that many herbicides and chemicals are being used then that they get into the crops. One of major chemicals is glyphosate. This chemical is used in herbicides and is said to cause cancer (Bonham). But the problem is the science has not been fully proven and this will be discussed later. Another pro to genetically modified crops is that they are more economical than growing organic crops. A Scientist from UC Berkeley, Zilberman, said that if the idea of genetically modified foods were adopted by the international community food prices would plummet and less people would die from hunger (Freedman). The issue that arises is that the world is changing because of many factors, population growth, climate change and many scientists believe that genetically modified crops are the only way to sustain the growth. GMO crops are often better suited for the changes in the climate. With the recent rise in temperatures the US has seen a severe decrease in corn production. A new strand of corn is being introduced which around 10-15 altered genes it making it much more sustainable to the droughts that sweep America (Biello). This new type of corn is also supposed to produce 7-10 extra bushels of corn per acre (Biello). Genetically modified plants are often said to have more nutritious value which can save lives. A great example of this is golden rice which was created to have more Vitamin A than spinach. The surprising thing is that rice does not have vitamin A to begin with (Freedman). Also over 1 million people die every year due to vitamin A deficiency. (Freedman). Many critics then say that they are dangerous to consumer health.

When the argument of whether or not they are harmful to human health comes up it is a very confusing and allusive topic. The European Commission has carried out over 130 cases and 500 independent studies on the safety of GMOS and none of them have provided anything to worry about their safety (Freedman). One of the most fascinating and strongest arguments for the safety of goes is the 2012 French rat experiment that got retracted because of weak evidence. In 2012 a group of French scientists conducted an experiment where they feed genetically modified corn to rats and observed them. They said that the crops caused cancer in the rats and that instantly caused outrage in the international community (Butler). However, the report was retracted because they figured out that the strand of rats used had a high risk for tumors and this skewed their results(Casassus). Even after all the science pointing towards GMOs being okay for human consumption people are stumped to why countries like Germany are banning GMOs completely (Raven). There have been around 13 European Union countries that have some sort of ban on GMOs and almost all of Africa opposes them because Europe does (Freedman). The biggest reason to this no tolerance policy is that people are genuinely afraid because they purely do not understand the science behind GMOs and are worried about long term affects. One specific study found that if a tomato was inserted with a fish gene people thought that the tomato would then taste like fish and this is obviously false it does not work like that (Blancke) showing that the public does not fully understand the science. The general public immediately gravitates to the severe consequences like the long term affects that could occur but it is too early to truly know.



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