The world is slowly running out of food. Impoverished people have nowhere to turn. Biotechnology researchers think they have found a way to reverse the world famine. This way is through genetically modified foods which are foods that come from genetically engineered organisms. Examples of such organisms are sheep, cows, and fish. However, since it is a new invention, it is being met with harsh and legitimate concerns. While it may help the world’s food crisis, it may also do that at the expense of human health.
Moreover, In the 90’s in the USA, the Food and Drug Administration decided that genetically modified food was safe and did not require special regulation. They stated that is was, “not inherently dangerous. ” (FDA, 1998). This allowed genetically modified food such as soybean oils and tomatoes to enter the market. There are lots of ideas about the GMF. Some scientists say that it is no harmful affects of GMF and it may be a solution for scarcity of food and even it is healthy.
However, some others say that GMFs are dangerous for public health. And It can damage biodiversity. Genetically modified foods may be a good solition to increase the amount of food. The problem is there are lots of people go to sleep hungry everyday and the number of hungry people is getting bigger. And International Food Policy Research Institute state there are “120 devoloping countries” which are very close to limit of hunger and “57 of which with a serious or worse hunger situation. (Global Hunger Index, 7)
The reason of this hunger is there is not enough food to feed them and because the world population is getting higher but the areas which use in farming are getting smaller. Farmers could not find suitable area to plant their crops. That is why, They have to find a different solution to be productive. Conko argues that biotech agriculture is the method by which we can increase agricultural productivity without resorting to increases in harmful chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.
In the Genetic Modification it says that genetic modification provides a means to confer resistance to broad-spectrum herbicides into crops where current weed control is considered difficult. In this way, farmers can be more productive and they can get more product on their fields. “In the United States, in 2002 about 5. 5 million farmers in 145 nations were planting more than 145 million acres worth of GM crops. ” (Conko) On the other hand, genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops might have a negative impact on biodiversity.
Genetically Modified crops have an impact on birds and insect. A crop plant modified to be toxic to insect pests can have a direct harmful effect on non-target insects if they eat the plant. It can also have an indirect effect by reducing the insects that are a food source for other wildlife, such as farmland birds. Genetically Modified crops that are tolerant to herbicides could also lead to a reduction in weed populations that act as refuges for beneficial insects, and those that are eaten by birds.
This process takes time because of this GM crops evaluate as a good solution but it can destroy the biological diversity. And US conservation organization Royal Society,founded in London In 1660 is a learned society for science, support it. They state that the likelihood of the spread of Genetically modified into the wild populations, the risk of superweeds being produced, the impact Genetically modified introductions might have on the colonies of micro organisms living in the soil and how such risks can be assesed and analysed.
Also John Innes Centre, Founded in England is an independent centre for research and training in plant and microbial science, state that Monarch butterfly larvae fed only on leaves covered in pollen from Bt corn grew more slowly and suffered higher death rates and pink bollworm fed on cotton producing the Bt toxin. Aphids fed on Genetically Modified potatoes producing a different toxin were also reported to have a harmful effect on ladybirds feeding on the aphids. Genetically Modified crops can be beneficial for health in terms of their food value.
Foods include lots of vitamins which are necessary to our body. In early days, our foods were full of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrate and they were occupied with value. However, now there are not enough foods which are full of value. Because there are lots of environmental factors like global warming which causes to summers takes long time, and scarcity of water, and also some pests. These factors effect the crops and farmers have to use pesticide and this cause to decrease food value. And it leads lots of health problems. And the one of the most important health problem is Vitamin A deficiency.
This is the cause of at least “1 million childhood deaths” each year and is “considered the single most serious cause of blindness amongst children” in the developing countries. “A possible solution to this problem is the genetic modification of rice. ” ( Potrykus, quoted inGenetic Modification) Although GM foods are benefical for the food value, in some circumstances, it can be very harmful for human health. Without too much control eating genetically modified food can be dangerous and it can lead lots of diseases like Eosonophil Myalgia Syndrome.
In this debate, the Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, is a website to educate the general public about genetic engineering in general and foods, revealed that After eating a food supplement produced by genetically engineered bacteria, “37 persons were killed 1500 people were permanently disabled” in the US in a disease called Eosonophil Myalgia Syndrome. It was caused by one or more extremely poisonous substances that unexpectdedly appeared in this food supplement.
This accident confirms the predictions of molecular biologists that genetic engineering can cause the appearance of dangerous unexpected substances. As a Conclusion, there are lots of arguments in the GMF. Maybe It can be a solution for lots of problems, maybe it can be invention of the this century. I think, however, without too much researching about GMF we cannot use it to gain profit. Because human health is important than anything. We have to more careful. In the future, After very deep research about the GMF, we can solve the sustanibility problem.
Courtney from Study Moose
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