Genetically Modified Crops, The Answer To Our Problems, Or The Instigator Of Many More?

1615 words - 7 pages

In the world today there is an estimated 7.246 billion people who depend heavily on the environment and the resources which it is capable of supplying. According to the most recent United Nations estimates, the human population of the world is expected to reach and astonishing 8 billion people in the spring of 2024. One of the biggest issues facing the upcoming youth of today is the growing demand for food supply. If this is a current problem, how do we expect to sustain the life styles we are so use to when there is an extra 1 billion mouths to feed?
Over the years many environmentalists have come up with solutions to this question such as family size restrictions, bigger fields and using ...view middle of the document...

Environmentally there are many more pros then there are cons. Because genetically modified crops have resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, reduction of spoilage, resistance to chemical treatments, and improving the nutrient profile of the crop they can be very useful. GM crops use a lot less water as they have been modified to be draught resistant. This also means that crops that could originally not be planted in certain areas now can. This allows the space which is available to farmers to increase allowing for a larger crop plant and a higher yield. Not only is there a higher yield but because of artificial selection farmers are able to buy seeds that have only the best characteristics and the best nutritional value.
Because the crops are now resistant to some pesticides farmers can use allot less. This immensely decreases the amount of pollution that farms are producing. The water run offs from the crops run back in to the water table but now it does not have pesticides in to pollute the main sources of water that is used as drinking water down the line. This will also decrease the statistics of water carried diseases in South Africa, which at the moment is a huge problem.
GM crops are modified to allow the plant to produce much more harvest. This means that a lot less space is needed to obtain the same yield of the crops. This allows more space for the natural environment of the area to thrive, which is solving another pressing issue in South Africa today.
South Africans market is small compared to thriving cities overseas. Despite this we still find ourselves having some of the best meat, and other food supplies in the world. By using GM crops we can ensure that when we export the goods they will last longer. Reaching their destination in top form and ensuring that the importers will continue using South Africa as a supplier.
Pesticides used for plants are not only bad for the environment but also for the economy. An estimated 4.7 billion dollars is spent annually by farmers and the government on pesticides. Because of GM crops this number has decreased significantly allowing farmers to use more money on seeds. More seeds equal a bigger yield which in turn equals a larger profit margin for the farmer and for the government run farms.
Genetic engineering has allowed for many different new hybrid species of plants to thrive. Brussels sprouts and broccoli being two of them. This has created a wider range and variety for people to choose from. More variety, more exports, better economy, happier people. A big plus for the community is the improved quality of the produce being bought.
The medical field has also had a huge success rate when using GM crops to manufacture new medicines. They are more effective, easier to obtain and they can be bred to have characteristics which are in high demand for the production of medicines.
Plants are not the only subject to genetic modification. Recently farmers have started using...

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