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The Benefits And Risks Of Genetically Modified Foods

967 words - 4 pages

INTRODUCTION
This report explains genetically modified food (GMOs) and discusses the benefits and risks associated with the consumptions of GMOs. Genetically modified foods (GMOs) are foods that have been genetically altered using engineering techniques. The most common technique used today is called recombinant DNA technology; this technology combines different molecules from different plant species to create a plant with a new set of genes, a hybrid plant. Another recombinant DNA technology being used is recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) an artificial growth hormone; this hormone is being fed or injected into cows to improve milk production. (ThefreeDictionary)
PURPOSE OF GMOs
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a cause of continuous debate. What would be the purpose of producing genetically altered food? Many argue that GMOs could prove to be very beneficial, the use of GMOs could lead to advances in medicine, and agriculture, and they could also prevent famine in poor underdeveloped countries. Genetic modification offers many benefits: pest control, disease resistant crops, drought resistant crops, no use of insecticides, nutritional beneficial foods, and less contamination. This is only a short list of the many benefits offered by the used of GMOs. With so many benefits why are we opposed to such a miracle? (NERC 2005)
ARE GMOs SAFE?
As I have said before, hoping not to sound too redundant, everything in life has its benefits and its drawbacks; I don’t expect GMOs to be any different. Recombinant DNA technology has presently only been used on a handful of plant, these plants include: corn, cotton, canola and soy. However, these plants are the bases of almost all the food consumed in the US, derivatives of these plants are found in almost all processed food. When set against the draw backs GMOs benefits are not as impressive. The list of benefits is very long, but the list of potential risks could prove even longer. Using technology to solve humanities challenges is innovative, exiting and quite wonderful; the ramifications of not being careful when using such a technology could lead disaster. The wide use of GMOs without knowing the long time risks could have a negative impact on all of our lives as well as the lives of all our future generations. (Whitman 2000)
Using GMOs seems to make life easier and convenient, crops and livestock could be grown and cultivated with little effort. But things that come to easily usually have negative effects. Problems that can arise from genetically modified food include: the development of harmful chemicals that can be poisonous after consumption or contact. The lost of biodiversity in both crops and animals. The development of super weeds or a super species this cause for concern because they can over an environment. GM crops that are not affected by pest and diseases could disturb the natural ecosystem. Our genes could be affected, or mutation could occur that can lead to cancer or...

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