From the current diverse world that is prone to new technologies, individuals are witnessing advanced inventions that are meant to facilitate and fulfill human needs with the aim of improving their lives. The field of science is an example of a sector that is already experiencing changes due to advanced technological and scientific approaches. Thus, the existence of biotechnology as a branch in the biological sciences has resulted in the introduction of Genetically Modified Foods or better-known as GMOs. Gruissem (3) defines GMOs as the kind of food substances that are produced by genetically modified organisms who’s DNAs have been altered through the Recombinant DNA technology. Therefore, favorable genes are inserted into the “GM” species, and thus, they are supposed to be more productive and efficient. However, Bawa et al. (1038) argue that GMOs could be disadvantageous to human health since there are no reliable tests on the presence of allergens or toxins. Despite the debates on the harmful effects of GMOs, the paper discusses its advantages including increased food production, environmental conservation and useful in curbing food shortages in third work countries.
The process of creating a genetically modified species involve the combination of specific genes to the existing genetic content of the organism. In this case, the living organism exhibits beneficial characteristics such as increased food production. Also, according to Gruissem (3), reports show that the introduction of GMOs has resulted in improved crop yields by more than 370 million tons of food over a reasonably small acreage area. Thus, the rise in food production enhances food security in countries that practice the genetic modification of organisms. On the contrary, Lallanilla states that some anti-GMO activists assert that “Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals” (1). Her reasons for such allegations include the fact that most of these genes used to alter the genetic makeup of species have unknown consequences to the consumers. However, recently conducted studies on GMOs indicate that the food products are safe for human consumption (Bawa et al. 1043). Therefore, the existence of modified foods not only increase food production but also has minimal adverse effects on the health of human beings.
The other advantage of GMOs is their presumed ability to conserve the environment. Raman (197) implies that one of the desired traits of genetically altered plants is their resistance to pest’s invasion. In essence, this leads to reduced pesticide use by farmers. Consequently, the application of chemicals for pest control is minimal and thus, lowers the risk of water and soil pollution. Nonetheless, Barrell (1) presents his argument that the incorporated foreign genes into the genetic codes of the organisms might ultimately change the whole natural species and eventually result in the extinction of the original organism. Regardless of the permanent alterations of plants or animals, the positive outcomes of GMOs to the environment due to pest resistance has led to such crops being commended worldwide by agricultural scientists and environmentalists.
Alternatively, the improved food security through the introduction and use of GM foods also benefits the third world countries. Gruissem (3) supports such assentation by arguing that such a new invention will end the cases of food shortages in most developing nations. Also, the GMO project works towards increasing foodstuffs that have the required nutritional values for public consumption. Furthermore, the consistency of food supply brought about by the surplus quantities of GMOs food products in the market has lowered the prices of foodstuff in the market thus making them affordable to all. However, according to Barrell (1), GMO technology is well established in developed countries than the less developed ones. Hence, this will result in a venture that promotes dependency of the third work countries on the more developed nations. In this context, issues arise when the impoverished country is unable to raise funds to import GMO foods. Nonetheless, in spite of such criticism, the advantages of modified foods in terms of its nutritious contents and extraordinary amounts of foodstuffs exceeds the limitations.
In conclusion, it is apparent that GMO foods present a significant advantage to the lives of human beings. The positive outcomes of modified products include the increased amounts of foods, reduced environmental degradation, and the easy accessibility of food products in developing countries. However, there are arguments that GMOs causes harm to human health and increases the dependency of the third world countries to the already developed countries. Alternatively, the tremendous advantages of GMO foods outdo the few disadvantages of the same products.
Barrell, Amanda. “Pros and Cons of GMO Foods: Health and Environment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 27 Feb. 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324576.php.
Bawa, A. S., and K. R. Anilakumar. “Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns—a review.” Journal of food science and technology 50.6 (2013): 1035-1046.
Gruissem, Wilhelm. “Genetically modified crops: the truth unveiled.” Agriculture & Food Security 4.1 (2015): 3.
Lallanilla, Marc. “GMOs: Facts About Genetically Modified Food.” LiveScience, Purch, 11 Jan. 2016, www.livescience.com/40895-gmo-facts.html.
Raman, Ruchir. “The impact of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in modern agriculture: A review.” GM crops & food 8.4 (2017): 195-208.