Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Doug Floyd
Last updated: February 16, 2019
Genetically Modified Organisms are any “organisms whose genomes have been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there”. GMOs, although some believe are dangerous and unsafe, are very beneficial to agriculture and our environment since they have the power to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment. There has been research that proved that the method of how and how much GMOs are grown can help to solve the problem of global warming. A study conducted by researchers in Purdue University found that if GMOs were to be banned this, “would raise food prices and add the equivalent of nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.” It also found that if other countries would expand the amount of GMOs to, “match the rate of GMO planting in the United States,” then the amount of carbon dioxide could decrease up to “0.2 billion tons.
” This would also allow for 2 million acres to be returned to forests and pastures. The researchers at Purdue posed the question of what would happen if GMOs were banned. It came to the result that this “would add the equivalent of 0.92 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere” since forests and pastures would have to be converted into farmland, and this would release carbon that is kept stored in plants and trees. There is various ways to to grow crops. An example is tillage, which is the preparation of soil by different types of agitation such as digging,stirring, and overturning.
Farmers are starting to let go of this system (no-tillage). GMOs grown with this no-tillage system may be able to reduce GH emissions, since studies done by JASA and the CTIC (Conservation Technology Information Center) found that this might reduce the fuel usage in cultivation since no tractors, that need fuel to run properly, will be needed to prepare the soil for crops. The estimated amount that will be reduced is “32.
52 liters/ha compared with traditional conventional tillage, and 14.7 liters/ha compared with the average of reduced-tillage cultivation. In turn, this results in reductions of carbon dioxide emissions of 89.44 kg/ha and 40.43 kg/ha, respectively.” This reduction of carbon benefits the environment by contributing to the attempt in reducing global warming.
GMOs are a way for farmer to utilize less fertilizers and herbicides. This helps out in the environment because whenever fertilizers are put in any type of plants, the excess nitrogen is taken in by soil bacteria. Through the process of denitrification and nitrification this creates nitrous oxide that is then released into the atmosphere, adding to global warming. Nitrogen oxide is one of the most potent greenhouse gas, “contributing more to global warming than all the world’s cars, ships, planes and trains combined.” A research done by Okayama University in Japan found out that if a corn gene was put into plants, this would help them to “absorb greater amounts of the element from the soil and thrive under low-nitrogen conditions.
” By using GM methods the amount of fertilizer and nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere would be reduced therefore helping out in the climate change problem currently going on. The body of evidence regarding whether growing GMOs is beneficial or not, supports the claim that GMOs are indeed beneficial, more specifically beneficial to our environment and atmosphere. The different researches conducted in different places all came to the idea that if the use of GM crops around the world would increase then the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere would decrease. If GMOs are grown correctly and safely, then there is no reason for the public to feel that they’re dangerous for their health. People should be open-minded on the topic of GMOs to see that there’s not only negative things in them.