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Genetically Engineered Foods: Friend Or Foe, Debate On Whether Ge Fs Should Be Banned Or Not With Solutions To Todays Food Problem.

1334 words - 5 pages

Genetically engineered foods (GEFs) are a very controversial topic. Some think genetically modified foods better our society by providing pest, herbicide, disease, cold, and drought resistance. Nutrition and pharmaceuticals can also be added to the crops. Others think we're better without them. Genetically engineered foods greatly threaten the environment and its species. There are many economic concerns and unknown effects of crops. Although genetically engineered foods have many benefits, the potential damage they do still outweighs the benefits.Genetically modified organisms relate to crop plants for human and animal consumption by using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides and pests. Growing genetically modified foods such as corn help eliminate chemical pesticides, but consumers do not like to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of potential health hazards. Crop plants genetically engineered to be resistant to a powerful parasite could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed (Whitman 2000). These corn crops can greatly help the environment. Some crops are also engineered to resist cold and drought. An antifreeze gene has been introduced into plants such as tobacco and potatoes. These plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings. Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content, soil, and groundwater can help people grow crops in abnormal conditions (Whitman 2000). These crops would help many of the third world countries that are suffering from hunger.Crops can also be engineered to contain more nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Rice does not contain adequate amounts of necessary nutrients to prevent malnutrition. If rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies can be alleviated. Blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries. "Golden" rice containing unusually high content in vitamin A can help this problem. Researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes (Whitman 2000). These plants would save many lives in poor countries if they work like they are expected to.GEFs can also be used to help put an end to world hunger. Besides boosting the nutritional content of food, researchers are developing crops that can be grown in arid countries or in regions with poor soil. Some seeds can produce drought-resistant, salt-resistant, and heat-resistant crops that can be grown in third world countries. Consumer and environmental groups say poverty causes hunger in developing countries and new types of crops will do little to relieve the situation unless poor farmers can pay for them. The idea of using biotechnology to feed starving people has come to the forefront recently because the industry is...

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