Good Genetically Modified Organisms Essay Example
GMOs are one of the most controversial topics of the last years. Genetically modified organism (GMO) is an artificially altered organism using genetic engineering techniques. This definition can be applied to plants, animals and microorganisms. Genetic changes are usually made either in scientific or economic purposes. Genetic modification differs by purposeful changes in the genotype of an organism as opposed to the random characteristic of natural and artificial mutation process. The main type of genetic modification is the employment of transgenes for generating transgenic organisms. In agriculture and the food industry the GMOs are referred only to organisms modified by adding either one or more transgenes into their genome.
The purpose of creating GMOs is to improving the useful characteristics of the original donor organism (resistance to pests, frost resistance, yielding capacity, caloric value, etc.) to reduce the products cost. As a result, nowadays there is a potato containing genes earth bacteria that kill Colorado potato beetle, drought resistant wheat with implanted scorpion gene, tomatoes with the plaice genes, soybeans and strawberries with the bacteria genes.
First of all GMOs can significantly contribute to food problems solution providing much higher yielding capacity. In fact, it results in significant cost price decrease and, thus, food amount increase. In addition, they are more resistant to diseases and weather, grow faster and can be stored much longer (Health Research Funding). GMO plants are also able to grow and bring a good harvest, where old varieties could not simply survive because of certain weather conditions.
Secondly GMO plants cultivation requires much less pesticides, insecticides and herbicides (and sometimes do not need them at all) than the traditional plants cultivation. Hence, it possesses less stress for the environment being extremely important with regard to current destructive use of natural resources.
Finally, GMOs can open ways to the creation of products without lack of vitamins, proteins, high allergenic potency, high amount fat or even a different fats composition (Health Research Funding). Moreover, genetically modified drugs production is successfully practiced throughout the world. Interferon and hormones may be obtained, for instance, using synthesized genes.
On the other hand there are lots of concerns regarding the use of GMOs. One of them is related to possible food harm causing allergic reactions to transgenic proteins and, thus, weakening the immune system. The effects of new proteins produced by the inserted genes are unknown. Moreover, there is a possibility of health impairments associated with the herbicides accumulation in the body, as GMOs tend to accumulate them and, thus, “make actual antibiotic medications less effective” (Kantor).
What is more, GMOs threaten our environment. Only one or two varieties are usually taken for gene modifications. Therefore, there is a risk of many plants species extinction. The use of genetically modified foods leads to the gene pool loosening which could result in mutant genes appearance.
Finally, there is no enough testing which would prove either safety or danger of GMOs. Although, “we definitely do know that pesticides (a term that includes herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) are linked to cancer, neurological diseases, like Parkinson’s, and a number of other very serious health concerns” (Connealy). It is believed that the impact of genetically modified food on humans will become apparent only after a half-century, when a change of at least one generation of people-fed transgenic food will take place.
So there are different views on the GMOs influence and safety. However, no matter what the view is, it is obvious that everyone should be entitled to choose and know for sure whether the product does or doesn’t have GMOs.
Connealy, Leigh Erin. 'GMOs: The Pros & Cons Of Genetically Modified Food - Newport Natural Health'. Newport Natural Health. 9 Jul. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
Health Research Funding. 'Pros And Cons Of Genetically Modified Foods - HRF'. 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
Kantor, Keith. 'GMO's - Pros And Cons'. CNN iReport. 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.