Gm Foods Essay

2188 words - 9 pages

GM Foods

The subject of GM foods in agriculture is a very touchy one. Some people feel passionately that GMO's can enhance our life and nurture generations to come. Others feel there's not been enough work done to ensure this is true. There are numerous pros and cons for both points of view. Even after having done thorough research on the subject myself, I can't give a whole-hearted opinion on the matter. If what large corporations such as Monsanto tell us are completely true, then what an accomplishment for mankind. However if we're being unknowingly misguided what a colossal catastrophe this could be. It's an extremely tough choice, which makes it such a good debate topic. I'll attempt address both side's concerns from an economic, environmental, and perhaps most importantly an ethical point of view.

The new technologies usually called genetic engineering or genetic modification (GM) promise to revolutionize medicine, and agriculture. An optimistic view is that GM plants will make a great, possibly indispensable, contribution to reducing mass hunger. Yet the development of GM crops has recently caused widespread unease in the United Kingdom (UK) and other European countries. The unease comes in diverse forms and in varying degrees of intensity. I t is also based on a wide range of ethical beliefs.

Although it may be scientifically possible to undertake a certain experiment or introduce a new type of crop for commercial planting, it does not follow that it would be ethically right to do so. Working out what it is right or permissible to do involves, therefore, bringing together our scientific understanding with our ethical principles to decide what we should.

Few questions of practical reasoning about policy or practice can be dealt with in a simple form. Practical reasoning typically involves weighing up or balancing the benefits of a technology like genetic modification with its potential harms or disadvantages. Proponents claim that GM plant technology will raise agricultural productivity, assist the development of safer, more nutritious foods with a longer shelf life, and contribute to the goal of increased food security for the poor in developing countries. Against this point of view there are those who say that GM food technology is a threat to human health and the environment. They say that its introduction will raise the profits of private suppliers and at the same time deprive poor producers of primary commodities access to markets and to the new varieties of seed.

Will the technology promote the general welfare by making for improved food safety or reducing the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture? Or does the technology pose unknown risks for consumers and the environment that we would be wise not to run if we are concerned about the general welfare? What implications does the technology have for the rights of consumers, for example the right to be informed about the food one is eating? What...

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