Genetic Engineering And Developing Countries Essay

2493 words - 10 pages

The genetic engineering of foods has been the subject of much controversy since its first appearance in the mid 1980’s. As scientists began to learn more about genetically engineered foods and the benefits of such foods, their potential also began to be realized. Developing countries, because of poor nutrition, would benefit the most from modified foods. Millions of people in developing countries die each year form lack of nutrition and hundreds of thousands go blind. Overpopulation is another problem facing developing countries and without food and nutrients survival will be tough. Alternately, there exist genetically modified foods, which can supply these poor nations with the proper nutrients and agricultural knowledge to prevent any nutritional and overpopulation problems from occurring. Many benefits can come from genetically engineered foods on top of aiding developing countries. Humans need to get over the fear f genetically engineered foods and start to utilize biotechnology in everyday life.

One suggested use of genetically engineered foods would be to aid developing countries that are struggling because of a lack of proper nutrients in their diets and overpopulation. A shocking statistic is that over 13% of the worlds population does not receive enough nutrients to prevent malnutrition and vitamin A deficiencies. Another horrifying statistic is that by the year 2020 the world population will exceed 7.5 billion people with 98% of the increase coming from less developed countries (Mary Arends-Kuenning and Flora Makundi “Agricultural biotechnology”). Supplying enough food to not only feed the growing number of people but to also provide tem with enough nutrients might seem impossible, but with the use of genetic engineering, producing enough healthy food to feed these people is an accomplishable goal.

One question and fear that many people have with genetically engineered foods is will the proteins implanted into foods cause new human allergies? Many environmentalists have expressed much concern about whether or not altered foods will cause human allergies and food and allergy specialists have not let the concerns of
environmentalists go unnoticed (Hoban D3). One such environmentalist, Ronnie Cummins of Motion Magazine, has stated that, “people with food allergies (which currently afflicts 8% of all American children), whose symptoms can range from mild unpleasantness to sudden death, may likely be harmed by exposure to foreign proteins spliced into common food products”(“Hazards of”). But, Cummins and other environmentalists need not worry because food and allergy specialists, who also expressed concerns about allergies, have pointed out, “it’s virtually impossible for anyone to have an existing allergy to a protein that would be completely new to the human diet” (Hoban D3). Other scientists have also come to same conclusion which led Stewart et. al. of BioTechniques magazine to state that, “gene products that are not...

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