Free Argumentative Essay About Are Genetically Modified Foods Harmful Or Beneficial?
Food is an essential basic need that every person desires. In the old days, the production of food was only through hunting and farming which took a long period before these foods arrive on our table. Nevertheless, today, technology has made it possible for food to take the shortest time before harvest as well as enabling mass production of food. Unluckily, the markets and politicians are taking an advantage of technology to influence the world to embrace the birth of Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs are organisms especially plants and animals whose genetic code has been altered to make them more fruitful and pest resistant. The plants or animals are modified in the laboratory using the latest molecular biology technique to develop desired traits. GM foods are the most common foods used today in the world despite the controversy behind them. Although, many people are not conscious of this fact, genetically engineered organisms are present in most of our preferred foods, for instance, fast foods. The Controversy over Genetically modified foods exists around the globe as there are some people for and others against the use of GMOs. A number of countries have banned GMOs because they believe that they are not safe for human use.
Most medical specialists and researchers deem that genetically modified foods carry an enormous risk; in contrast, various scientists maintain that GM foods are totally safe for human use. In addition, most politicians tend to convince people that, the genetically modified foods are safe for use and through this technology; the world will be able to feed the rapidly growing population. Genetically modified foods are considered safe for human consumption by many countries through the influence of politicians and science. I take the position against genetically modified foods because they are harmful to our health and the ecosystem. GM foods are not safe for human use, for the environment, and they cannot help feed the growing population if their safety is not proven.
Even though scientists believe that genetically modified foods are safe for human use, I tend to disagree with them on this point. There is no verified study that demonstrates that genetically modified organisms foods and products are safe for human consumption (Connealy, 2013). In fact, genetically engineered foods and products are in the market because the Food and Dug Administration is covering up for the companies behind GMOs and giving distorted and tainted facts about the issue (Druker 2015). Due to this reason, it is difficult for politicians and other marketers to convince everyone to embrace GM foods. They cannot even show their safety; because how can we be assured of their safety of there is no enough prove that hey are safe for human use? Therefore, without enough research and prove of their safety, we cannot just embrace them and use them because it is obvious that they are not safe for human use due to lack of enough supporting research. Genetically modified foods bring an impending health risk to the human health. Most of the herbicides and pesticides built in the genetically engineered crops are toxic to human health, and, as a result, they can cause allergy reactions and unknown health risks as well as affecting the immune system. For instance, genetically engineering foods can cause infertility, damage to the liver, and cause damage to our digestive systems. Some of the DNA used can be passed to the human body after consuming GM foods (Smith, 2007).
Moreover, those for GM foods try to convince the world that they help feeding poor or underfed nations because of their increased production. Their argument is misleading because, if there is no sufficient prove about their safety, then why should they be consumed by the growing population. If politicians continue convincing the world about the use of genetically modified organisms, it will lead to the introduction of new disease, which will be difficult to treat. Additionally, the genes of the coming generation will be affected because of the chemicals used in the production of genetically modified organisms and foods.
In addition, most politicians make people believe that, genetically tailored organisms have helped increase the food supply around the globe. According to them, the population is growing tremendously, therefore, with the use of GMOs; the world will be able to feed this population. They tend to argue that, GMOs are modified to tolerate herbicides and are disease and pest resistant which increase food production. Nonetheless, this is not true because, since GMOs were introduced, there has been an increase in genetic mutations in plants, animals, and insects. For instance, the genetically engineered foods are modified to be herbicide tolerant and when planted, they crossbreed to the weeds on the farm as they transfer the herbicide tolerant genes to the plants coming with superweeds. These superweeds have become hard for farmers to remove them from the farm thus affecting their harvest (Smith, 2007). Consequently, if this continues, it will affect the food production in the world because; these weeds will influence the growth of food crops in the farm. In addition, when the growth of food crops is affected, this means that there will be a food problem across the globe because of the use of genetically modified organisms.
Another reason that I stand against genetically modified foods is that, they are harmful to our ecosystem. According to White man, genetically engineered organisms have a detrimental outcome to our atmosphere and the ecosystem (2000). First of all, they are destroying our environment as well as affecting organic farming because they are contaminating organic crops and foods in the farm. Even though, those advocating in favor of GMOs assert that, their crops are pest resistance and contain herbicides which prevent environmental pollution. It is clear that, the genes injected in the GM crops can spread to the organic crops thus creating unwanted genes in plants which can later on be a threat to the environment. Moreover, the mutation process by biotechnology has posed serious risks to the ecosystem.
Another reason against genetically modified organisms is their economic concerns. Those for GM foods argue that, their products are economical because farmers will reap enormously in a short period. The argument is refutable because, in order to bring these foods to the market, it involves an expensive and lengthy process. In fact, for developing countries, embracing GMOs will be hectic for them because they will need more money in order to have the final products in the market.
One of the strongest reasons used by the opposition is that, GM foods are the solution to hunger problems around the globe in addition to preserving the environment as it reduced the dependence on herbicides and pesticides. They argue that, GM crops take a little time to grow yet have higher yields. Nonetheless, the above arguments are refutable since, most people developing countries; where there are hunger problems have no money to buy GM foods or rather process them. In addition, why should people embrace GM foods that take less time to grow and have higher yields, yet they come along with detrimental impacts to out ecosystem and to our health? Genetically modified foods necessitate costly equipments and high skilled personnel for them to be processed, and this will be difficult for third world countries (Whitman, 2000). Most countries with hunger problems are struggling economically, how can they embrace a technology that has colossal economic and social costs?
Many Americans have been consuming processed foods with genetically modified ingredients without their consent. A question that most people have been asking is that, why is the Food Drug Administration quiet and not protecting them? Initially, the FDA had made it open that these foods are safe for consumption, just like conventional foods until it was later revealed that their decision was politically motivated. With a lawsuit against Monsanto, one of the largest biotech companies, it was revealed that, the FDAs position on GMOs was politically staged. Orders came from the White House that, GMOs should be promoted (Druker, 2015). This was misleading from the political side because, the FDA had warned that genetically modified foods are unpredictable and can be harmful to human health. This case is an example on how politics and politicians can coerce people’s understanding of science for their benefit. According to Druker, despite the fact that the FDA ordered for future research in the science of the adverse effects of GMOs; the same biotech companies in the controversy of hiding the toxic effects of their GMO products are the ones that determine if these foods are safe for human consumption (2015). For this reason, it is important to shun away from GM foods because these companies are still going to hide their potential hazards. The fight against genetically modified foods should continue so that their safety can be proven, but until then, it is evident that genetically modified foods are not safe for consumption. The science behind the production of genetically modified products has been politically misinterpreted, and it is affecting our daily lives. Many people are suffering because of the detrimental effects of GM products while the involved parties are hiding the truth behind the science of GMOs.
Genetically modified foods are being forced to the world by biotechnology companies that are seeking for domination of their products. These firms are hiding the real effects of GM foods because they want to monopolize their products in the markets and make enormous profits. It is true that there is a high demand for food worldwide, but this does not give these multi-national companies the reasons to put our health at risk just to make profits and dominate the market. Companies like Novartis and Monsanto are making hugely unreasonable profits with the influence of politics at the outlay of the people’s health. In fact, Monsanto has had a big influence on the US government and this power is helping the company to continue marketing GM products. Moreover, they are allowed without letting the client know neither about them, nor their effects (Druker, 2015). If nothing is done about GM foods to ensure their safety, we can imagine what will happen to the health of the people in future considering the current controversy over the effects of GM foods.
In conclusion, the topic of genetically modified foods has become a trending topic around the globe for some time now. There is the need for more food production in order to be able to feed the growing population; therefore, many states are embracing the GMO technology so as to be able to increase their food production. Nonetheless, the introduction of GM foods has borough a lot of reactions from different groups with some supporting it while others are raising concerns about the safety of the foods. Nevertheless, despite the reactions and the health concerns on the GM foods, they are still on our tables without a proper verification. The fate of genetically modified foods will still hang on the balance until there is sufficient evidence of its safety. With studies and reports of lack of sufficient evidence of testing for their safety, it is still clear that GM foods pose a potential risk to human health and the ecosystem. Therefore, until auxiliary research is done on GMOs to prove their safety, they remain serious threats to the world’s ecosystems and to the health of the people. In addition, GMOs cause genetic mutations which have caused a number of problems in our farms. It means that, if this technology is embraced by politicians and other marketers as they convince the world, our farms will remain unproductive for a very long time. However, stopping the production of genetically modified foods is impossible because they are prevalent in our markets today. Nonetheless, it is important to regulate the production of the genetically modified foods and products. This can only be done if political influence and manipulation on the use of GM foods is stopped, for instance in the US. In addition, it is vital to conduct further research on the GMOs so as to prove their ultimate safety for human use and to our ecosystem. Perhaps, with sufficient evidence of their safety, then politicians and scientist will be able to remove their detrimental effects of GMOs and encourage the world to embrace this scientific invention. Therefore, it is vital for agribusiness, politicians and other related groups to stop pursuing profits with the introduction of GMOs without the concern of their potential risks. GM foods and products should undergo a special testing in order pass the level of food testing satisfactorily, because their disadvantages outweigh their benefits.
Connealy, L. E. (2013). GMOs: The Pros & Cons of Genetically Modified Food. Newport Natural Health. Retrieved from http://www.newportnatural health.com/2013/07/gmos-the-pros-cons-of-genetically-modified-food/
Smith, J. M. (2007). Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies.
Whitman, D. B. (2000). Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful? Brown University. Retrieved from http://brown.edu/ce/adult/arise/resources/docs/
Druker, S. M. (2015). Why The FDA’s Policy on Genetically Engineered Foods is Irresponsible and Illegal. Alliance for Bio-Integrity. From http://www.biointegrity.org/
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