Genetically Modified Organisms:Its Dangers To Human Society

1396 words - 6 pages

Corn, soybeans, golden rice, and tomatoes have one point in common. These foods are genetically modified organisms. Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs), also known as transgenic crops or biotech foods, refer to organisms whose gene has been transformed using modern technology. As the global population has grown dramatically over the years, the necessity of more food to eat increased also. That is why the technology which modifies the gene of the organism was used to invent varieties of vegetables for increased productivity and high quality. These days, many genetically modified foods appear on our dining table. Sugar beet, cotton, sugar cane, corn, soybeans, golden rice and tomatoes are the representatives of GM crops and you could easily see these foods in supermarket shelves. Even animal products such as meat, milk, and eggs often contain genetically engineered genes, since the animals are fed by GM foods. The first vegetable which was made by gene manipulation was tomatoes in the 1980’s. After this success, many scientists and food companies began to pay attention to this new form of organism and tried to produce many genetically modified foods by using new technologies. Especially, they used this technology anticipating pest-impervious organisms, more yield of crops, and resistance to natural diseases such as droughts. As a result, many agriculture companies use genetic engineering technology in food processing and these foods appear on our dinner table. As it is stated above, people are exposed to plenty of GM foods in daily life. However, modern people who consume those GM crops everyday do not realize that these genetically modified foods are environmentally dangerous, are risky to human health, and cause economic concerns.
First of all, transgenic plant’s environmental ramifications can ruin the ecosystem. As biotech crop’s gene transfer to non-target species, other organisms could encounter unintended harm. Genes and their effect included in GMO may turn out to be poisonous to other insects. This can be proved by a laboratory study which science magazine ‘Nature’ conducted in 1999. The pollen of Monarch butterfly caterpillars died because of the pollen of Bt-corn, which is a combination of commercial corn and a naturally occurring soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringenesis. Monarch butterfly caterpillars do not eat Bt-corn but the pollen of Bt-corn can be transferred to milkweed plants which Monarch butterfly caterpillars usually eat for growth, through the medium of the air. Since these Bt-toxins are very fatal to many larvae, this had been connected to high mortality rate in caterpillars. Though it was a laboratory experiment which circumstances were artificial, this phenomenon could happen in the real nature very easily. Besides by wind, this indiscriminate transferring could occur by soil also. Non-modified organism which is adjacent to the genetically modified one could cross breed indiscriminately(Losey, Rayor & Carter, 1999)....

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