In the world today there is an estimated 7.246 billion people who depend heavily on the environment and the resources which it is capable of supplying. According to the most recent United Nations estimates, the human population of the world is expected to reach and astonishing 8 billion people in the spring of 2024. One of the biggest issues facing the upcoming youth of today is the growing demand for food supply. If this is a current problem, how do we expect to sustain the life styles we are so use to when there is an extra 1 billion mouths to feed?
Over the years many environmentalists have come up with solutions to this question such as family size restrictions, bigger fields and using crops that produce a higher yield, but unfortunately all of these solutions have fallen short, failing to resolve the problem which keeps on intensifying as time passes.
The newest solution that there has been huge talk over is genetically modified crops (GM crops). Genetically modified crops, or biotech crops, are plants used in agriculture and who’s DNA has been modified using mechanical techniques such as:
• Mutagenesis – the production ,by chemicals or radiation, of mutants that may have desirable characteristics,
• Genetic engineering- which uses molecular techniques to transfer desirable characteristics from one plant to another or to change the genetic material to produce more desirable characteristics,
• Embryo rescue-is the rescue of seeds from valuable plants that may be going extinct in order to revive the population and prevent extinction and,
• Polyploidy- which is when the number of chromosome pairs in the cell are doubled or even trebled.
The aim of all of these methods is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species.
Because genetically modified food is such a new concept there are many different opinions which have formed around it over its effect on the environment, economical position of the country, how it will affect the society and if it can be declared an ethically correct practise.
Effect on the environment
Environmentally there are many more pros then there are cons. Because genetically modified crops have resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, reduction of spoilage, resistance to chemical treatments, and improving the nutrient profile of the crop they can be very useful. GM crops use a lot less water as they have been modified to be draught resistant. This also means that crops that could originally not be planted in certain areas now can. This allows the space which is available to farmers to increase allowing for a larger crop plant and a higher yield. Not only is there a higher yield but because of artificial selection farmers are able to buy seeds that have only the best characteristics and the best nutritional value.
Because the crops are now resistant to some pesticides farmers can use allot less. This immensely decreases the amount of pollution that farms are...