Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Kristy Fleming
Last updated: July 11, 2019
An organism that has had its genetic material manipulated or altered in a laboratory setting through the use of genetic or genomic engineering techniques. genetic engineering involves the artificial recombination of nucleic acid molecules in the test tube; their insertion into a virus, bacterial plasmid, or other vector system; and the subsequent incorporation of the chimeric molecules into a host organism in which they are capable of continued propagation. The construction of such molecules also has been termed gene manipulation because it usually involves the production of novel genetic combinations by biochemical means.The World Health Organization (WHO) defines them as organisms whose DNA has been altered in a non-natural way. GM plants are usually changed to be insect resistant, virus resistant, or herbicide tolerant. With these changes come some potentially problematic environmental challenges. Even though genetically modified food can help reduce hunger, there has not been enough research on GMOs and they are a threat to health.
By splicing genes of different species and combining them, Genetically Modified organisms are made and can be used to benefit food production. Using Gmos we can become more efficient with cultivating crops. We can make foods better tasting and make them have the traits we prefer. Using Gmos we can also make a longer shelf life and make food more accessible for consumers.With an ever increasing global population, massive 3rd world hunger, and with an estimation that a child dies for every two seconds world wide from starvation; this does not even take into account the number of people who are mal and undernourished, there is a great promise in the use of this technology to benefit not only the farmers, but also societies worldwide.Using GMOs we get Bigger yields to create more efficient use of land, less uses of herbicides and other pesticides, foods with better texture, flavor and nutritional value, foods with a longer shelf life for easier shipping, and Finally, GMO foods can create an essential sustainable way to feed the world.
“A common type of GMO is the modified agricultural seed. Corn, soybeans, and cotton are a few examples of staple agricultural GMO products grown in the United States. Genetic modifications to these products may, for example, alter a crop’s nutritional content, storage ability, or taste. With the advent of genetic engineering, for example, common hybrid crops such as the tomato were launched into a new era.” Through GMOs we can manipulate crops to have the traits that we as consumers want in our produce. We have been doing this for a long time by breeding the best animals and crops together to slowly get the best product through natural selection.
When we genetically modify organisms we are doing this to the dna of our crops and making them exactly the way we want.’The first food produced from gene splicing and evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was the Flavr Savr Tomato in 1994. Tomatoes usually get softer as they ripen because of a protein in the tomato that breaks down the cell walls of the tomato. Because it is difficult to ship a quality ripe tomato across the country before the tomato spoils, tomatoes are usually shipped unripened. “Gmos can help consumers and large corporations and bring prices down. Along with an easier farming process that can give farmers less worrying about pesticides because the plants themselves can genetically be modified to be pest resistant.Through tests on animals we have seen what gmos can do to them in which we don’t want done for us. The plants genetically altered to kill pests are toxic.
These plants have toxins to kill the digestive system of pests. The plant makes its own pesticide and any insect that eats it dies. Pesticides we put on plants are just as bad expect we can wash them off for human consumption. Where as the plants that are genetically modified are unable to get rid of there pesticides.
If animals are getting cancerous cell growth from Gmos, then Gmos can affect Humans as well.Gmos need to be tested through more human experiments as well but through animal testing we have found unhealthy side effects. Quote(s):”While effects may be only starting to surface amongst humans, tests on animals have been going on for a longer period of time. As a result, animals have been suffering because of the health complications brought on by GMOs. Jeffrey M. Smith, a leader in promoting healthier non-GMO food choices, writes in the introduction to his book, Genetic Roulette about the many side effects of GMOs that were displayed during animal testing:Lab animals tested with GM foods had stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially cancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshapen cell structures in the liver, pancreas, and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed brains and testicles, enlarged livers, pancreases, and intestines reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality.
(Smith, “Genetic Roulette” 5)The organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rates fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups. Looking at the results of GMOs on animals demonstrates how consuming these mutations can lead to serious health risks. So not only are most body parts affected, the animal’s lifespans are shortened and their offspring have a lower chance of survival. If this were any indication as to how humans will be affected after long-term exposure to GMOs, then I would not want to eat something that could harm my bodily organs, endanger my life and the lives of any future children. If eating Gmos is endangering lives then is it really worth saving a little bit of money? It is way more important for food and what we put into our body to be taken more seriously then consumer and corporate needs.animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems.
Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.The American Academy of Environmental Medicine The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn’t require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences. When knew foods are introduced like trans fats, corporations battled to get them onto grocery shelves.It was only until recently that trans fat was proven to be extremely unhealthy.
As of now we have corporations pushing for genetically modified foods because it is beneficial for themselves. There has not been enough tests and research upon the GMOs yet companies are not looking for the consumers interests.Corporations always have and will care about there productivity and money. Many scientists are worried that the genetically altered foods, once consumed, may pass on their mutant genes to bacteria in the digestive system. How these new strains of bacteria may affect our body systems’ balance is anybody’s guess because we don’t have the research and experience with GMOs. Even with all of these unknown mysteries about GMOs, we still have companies and labs pushing GMOs to our grocery stores because they have their own motives to worry about and not ours. GMOs reduce genetic diversity because we all take the crops and plants that have exactly the traits we desire.
“When genes are more diverse, they are more robust; this is why a pure bred dog tends to have greater health problems than the dear old mutt. Plants with reduced genetic diversity cannot handle drought, fungus invasions or insects nearly as well as natural plants, which could have dire consequences for farmers and communities dependent on GMO crops for survival.”GMOs not only can affect the health of its consumers, yet it can also affect our environment in a negative way.
How does the environment get affected in a negative way?What is the better option from Gmos?The dangers including human health is not worth it.GMOs may be toxic to non-target organisms, bees and butterflies being the most talked-about examples currently. Bees are hugely important in the pollination of many food crops, but are unfortunately extremely endangered by modern agricultural techniques, such as GM crops. Monarch butterflies are specifically at risk from GMO maize plants. In addition to bees and butterflies, birds are also at risk from pesticides, and work as biological control agents and pollinators, again, like bees.Once a plant is introduced in an agricultural environment, it is reasonable to assume it will become part of a larger ecosystem, meaning the problem of environmental damage done by GMOs is much larger than simply potentially harming our health.
The nature of GMOs means fewer weed flowers and, therefore, less nectar for pollinators. Toxins released into the soil through the plants´ routes mean fewer soil bacteria, which are integral to healthy soil for plants to grow without the use of chemical fertilizers. Toxic residues are left in the soil of GM crops. Nutrients are not returned to the soil in mono crops and from GMO foods, meaning that soil is becoming dry and void of all nutrients, generally integral to the growing process.the irrigation used to grow GM foods naturally carries all of these problems into water sources and into the air. This exposes different bacteria, insects, and animals to the same problems.GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms.
They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50%The dangers of introducing genes that may cause undesirable effects in the environment is also a concern among many. For example, when farmers spray an herbicide to remove weeds growing among crops, the sprayed chemical often damages the crop plants. If the crop is genetically engineered to be resistant to the chemical, the weeds are killed, but the crop plants remain undamaged.
Gmos are hurting us and the world around us. When do we humans need to take a stand for what is right? It is not right for us to continue to progress in gmos when it is not healthy and not researched about enough.We can move away from GMos by GMOs be labeled along with the nutritional values. And supporting non gmo farmers. To create a movement towards non gmo products and farming, we have to support the right farmers and educate consumers on what has Gmos.
Another way we can take a stand against GMOs is by supporting farmers that continue to grow food organically.”In order to look forward to a long and healthy future, we need to focus on local farmers who still choose to grow their crops the “natural way.” Foods that are grown organically have shown to be beneficial for our bodies because they contain vitamins and minerals that are not combined with chemicals which dilute their effectiveness (Hinduism Today). In his article “The land ethic,” Aldo Leopold writes, “the conquering role is eventually self-defeating” (23). As we attempt to conquer the food industry by imposing our own rules on how to generate food, we are essentially going to defeat ourselves at our own game. Rather than creating foods that contain GMOs, we should focus more on the naturally occurring wonders that nature has performed for millions of years.
“As the world changes we need to change with it. As the way we consume food and farming and products become technologically more advanced we need to be well educated about every process and understand how significant food is in everyone’s life.CONCLUSIONThe possibility that biotech crops could make a substantial contribution to providing sufficient food for an expanding world is also a reason given for engaging in the research that underlies their development. However, the debate over GMOs continues among scientists and between consumers and modern agricultural producers throughout the world regarding issues such as regulation, labeling, human health risk, and environmental impactIf we want local farmers to continue growing their crops without genetic mutations, we need to support them by buying their produce rather than a brand name. Not only does buying locally grown produce healthier, but also gives promise that the healthy food you are purchasing will still be available for years to come.Gmos do provide a lot of great benefits for the consumers and corporations.
Although there is good to come out of Gmos, we don’t know enough about them and what we know already is enough to be worried for our future.The bottom line is that genetically modified organisms have not been proven in any way to be safe, and most of the studies are actually leaning the other direction, which is why many of the world’s countries have banned these items whose DNA has been genetically engineered. In America, they aren’t even labeled, much less banned, so the majority of the populace has no idea that they are eating lab-created DNA on a daily basis.With a growing population around the world, we have to supply more food for a larger amount of people.
A way to make ends meet is to cut down more forests and use more land for crops.