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The Ramifications Of Genetic Modification Essay

806 words - 4 pages

Food production has changed dramatically to meet the growing demand for food for the world’s rapidly increasing population. Advances in biotechnology have allowed the food industry to lower production expenses and increase profit margins by creating superior food products by way of genetic engineering. There are many dangers and risks associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) such as significant changes in DNA of both the genetically altered organism as well as of those who ingest them; consequently, they have caused human health problems, environmental problems, and unexpected genetic mutations.
While numerous studies on GMOs have been conducted, there is still substantial uncertainty about the potential effects on health. Some patterns that have been recognized are allergies, depletion of necessary enzymes, and infertility in consumers of GM food crops. Since the allergies are induced at a genetic level and continually reinforced by nutritional sources such as soy and corn, they can cause an immune response to both the genetically modified and unmodified versions. According to Jeffrey Smith, a consumer advocate, “GM soy drastically reduces enzymes in mice. If it also impairs your digestion, you may become sensitive and allergic to a variety of foods” (Smith). Because enzymes are biological catalysts that provide a specifically shaped platform for digestion of nutrients, foreign proteins, lipids, and carbohydrate molecules can cause allergic reactions when enzymes cannot align with them in the digestive process.
Biotechnology scientists have developed a process of altering specific plant genes to achieve desired qualities such as resistance to pests, diseases, or climate conditions. Though the techniques used are very intricate and precise, the results are imprecise and unpredictable. There is a discrepancy between intentions of scientists and the realistic behaviors of genes; it is nearly impossible to successfully isolate a single gene and engineer it into an organism without there being fundamental changes in the functions and interacting systems of the organism. “Once released into the ecosystem, they do not degrade and cannot be recalled, but multiply in the environment and pass on their GM genes to future generations. Each new generation creates more opportunities to interact with other organisms and the environment, generating even more unintended and unpredictable side-effects” (Antoniou). Gene transferring is an example of a phenomenon where the engineered genes of one plant are accidentally passed to other plants such as weeds, giving them the engineered trait. Consequently, farmers,...

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