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The Effects Of Genetically Modified Organisms On Agriculture

644 words - 3 pages

The ability to use biotechnology in order to crossbreed diverse forms of life has had a profound impact on agriculture around the world. The two main reasons for the use genetic engineering in plants is in order to develop traits for herbicide tolerance as well as to make the plants form natural pesticides. The first genetically engineered crop which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was the Flavr-Savr tomato in 1994 (Parmalee 47). The Flavr-Savr tomato used genetic engineering to add a gene that would slow the break down of the cellular walls once picked so that they would stay firmer for longer on the supermarket shelves.
The benefits that are available through the use of genetically engineered crops in agriculture are enormous. Farmers are becoming more lenient to adopting the use of these genetically engineered seeds as they see the potential gains that can be had through the use of them. In 2010, as much as 86 ...view middle of the document...

Genetic engineered crops also provide many benefits to the environment where the crops are grown. In a study conducted during the early 2000's the results showed that over sixty percent of the genetically engineered soybeans being grown were grown in conjunctionn with conservation tillage opposed to only forty percent of non-genetically engineered soybeans grown using conservation tillage (Fernandez-Cornejo and Caswell 6). The use of crops which have been altered to form natural pesticides has been shown to decrease the use of pesticides in corn, soybeans, and cotton by over 2.5 million pounds. In addition the pesticide used in the genetically engineered crops glyphosate is known to be one third less toxic to humans and not as likely to harm the environment around as the pesticide which it replaces.
The fear of genetically engineered foods is unnecessary as it has the potential to solve many issues we are having in our world today.
Anyone who cares about alleviating hunger and protecting the environment should work quickly to remove the bias against GM crops. A good first step is for educated, scientifically literate people to avoid being taken in by the myths about genetically modified food. These innovations have too much potential to empower individuals and feed the world to be thwarted by falsehoods and fear-mongering. (Van Montagu 2)
The worlds population is supposed to rise by and estimated two billion people by the year 2050 which would put even more stress on agriculture to produce the amount of food needed at an economically sustainable price point. The world already has and estimated 870 million people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. These genetically engineered crops can help the strugling peoples by bringing more bountiful and nutritioanl harvests on the same acreage which will make the product more affordable. As well as helping the environment by mitigating the impact of agriculture on the environment by conserving our dwindling supply of fresh water; freeing up land for other uses, such as carbon-absorbing forests; preserving topsoil; and reducing the use of insecticides and herbicides, thereby enhancing biodiversity.

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