Environmental Case Analysis

1316 words - 5 pages

Intense debate surrounds the subject of food, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceutical, and insects as they relate to food sources altered genetically. According to about.com, 2009, genetically modified organisms (GMO) "refers to a living organism that has been genetically altered using molecular genetics techniques such as gene cloning and protein engineering." The purpose of the paper is to analyze genetically modified organisms and the conflict involving its introduction into the food supply.SummeryIntense controversy surrounds the introduction of genetically modified organisms for use in agriculture. Biotech organizations in favor of the use of genetically modified organisms purpose that genetically engineered crops could very well be the next green revolution. The proponents also insist genetically modified organisms will assist those with limited food supplies particularly those in underdeveloped nations. Introducing genetically engineered organisms into crop production will result in enhanced benefits to both farmers and consumers alike, so promise the biotech companies. Some of the major benefits according to Sakko (2009) include:•Rice with built-in Vitamin A that can help prevent blindness in 100 million children suffering from Vitamin A deficiency;•A tomato that softens more slowly, allowing it to develop longer on the vine and keep longer on the shelf;•Potatoes that absorb less fat when fried, changing the ever-popular french fries from junk food into a more nutritional food;•Strawberry crops that can survive frost;•An apple with a vaccine against a virus which causes childhood pneumonia (p. 1)While these benefits appear to be advantageous the effect of modified crops on the environment and humanity continues to be the subject of intense debate. Crops are not the only area exposed to genetic modification, food supplies such as milk and fish are included. To enhance their ability to produce more milk, cows are receiving growth hormones, however, scientist have discovered that the hormones have a negative effect on fertility rates, and causing lameness in many of the cows (Newton, Dillingham, & Choly, 2006).In addition, fish are receiving growth hormones to induce more rapid growth than natural native fish. Injecting a type of native Atlantic salmon with an engineered growth hormone results in a 400 to 600 % faster growth rate than the native fish. The bad news is that should the transgenic fish escape into the wild, they may displace the wild fish by taking control of spawning sites as a result of their enlarged size. This is bad news because this process violates the integrity of the ecosystem and its ability to exist naturally (Newton, Dillingham, & Choly, 2006).StakeholdersFarmersWith the introduction of genetically modified organisms into crop seed, farmers have experienced higher yield crops. As a result, farmers and biotech organizations such as Monsanto have noticed the benefits of modified crops....

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