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Benefits Of Genetically Modified Foods Essay

1886 words - 8 pages

In 1984, the first successful genetically modified plant, antibiotic-resistant Tobacco, came into the picture. By 1994, the FDA approved the sale of the first genetically modified crop, a tomato, in the United States. One year later, numerous genetically modified crops hit the market, including corn and wheat. The use of genetically modified crops for food has become an increasingly controversial issue. Despite their successes in the United States, many other nations are wary of adopting modified crops, and their sentiment is catching on in America too. Many people continue to question GM foods possible impact on humanity and the environment. Claims that they cause health problems or allergies are widespread throughout the media. However, most of these claims are unsubstantiated, and rely heavily on opinion or fluke studies. Furthermore many ignore the numerous possible benefits that genetically modified foods could offer humanity. Genetically modified crops are not only safe; they are extremely beneficial in facing many of the world’s current and likely future hunger and health problems.
Genetically modified foods provide a cheaper and healthier alternative to those with limited access to food. Genetic modification helps farmers decrease production costs by making plants more resilient, which in turn helps lower the cost of food. Currently the FDA is reviewing AquAdvantage, a type of genetically modified salmon. According to Martin Smith, an environmental policy analyst at Duke University, and his colleagues at Science, “GM salmon could put fresh salmon in reach as a protein source for low-income households susceptible to conditions linked to poor nutrition” (Keim). Since GM salmon is easier to farm and grows quicker it reduces the necessary production costs. As fresh produce and possibly fish prices are brought down, more families will be able to afford fresher, healthier, diets. This can in turn help with some with some of the current health issues concerning nutrition. GM salmon can provide a high protein, low fat, food option for poorer families. People who previously had to rely on cheap processed foods have healthier options available for cheaper. It may be possible to alleviate some of the health problems that many poor families face due to poor diet. Healthier diets can alleviate problems like diabetes and obesity that currently plague the US. GM foods provide an affordable, yet healthy, option for poor families. Reducing the cost of food, by itself, is not exactly beneficial for the poor, as Michael Pollan points out in “Food Movement Rising”. He argues that lower food cost, most of the time is coming out of the employee’s pockets and creates an interdependence between cheap food and the poor. Genetic modification provides a means of genuinely lowering the cost of food by increasing productivity out in the fields. This allows food to be cheaper without taking the cost out employee pockets.
Genetic modification can do more than just...

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