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Changes in the world cause changes in the food production industry. As the world's population grows, the food production sector looks for new ways to produce food with more nutritional value. As a result, the industry has adopted a biotechnological production method that involves genetically altering foods to ensure food security. The question of whether or not genetically modified foods are safe to eat has sparked debate. While some argue that the technology can help with food security, others argue that it has ethical implications. The paper presents a persuasive case for the production and consumption of genetically modified foods. When compared to natural foods, GM foods have more advantages. As a result, GM food production should continue. Genetically modified foods are foods with an altered genetic structure. According to WHO, behind the technology individuals alter the structures of foods in a manner “that does not occur spontaneously” (Dizon et al. 287). The technology originates from RNA technology advances. The first application has been in the 1994 production of a particular type of tomato that has had a prolonged shelf life. The development has paved the way for producing other crops, which have been resulted in a significant production of GM foods. In the US, the majority of organisms produced through genetic modification are foods. The common crops include corn, cotton, and soybean. Almost 80 percent of food in US is genetically modified (Maghari and Ardekani 110).
Advantages of GM Foods
GM foods have numerous advantages. First, they guarantee a high production of food. Qaim and Kouser mention that various factors such as “climate change, land, and water scarcity” threaten the availability and supply of food (1). With the rising population, the world requires a high food production to offer food for all people around the world (Dizon et l. 299). The technology ensures a large-scale production of food within a short time unlike conventional methods of production that require a longer time for organisms to mature. Qaim and Kouser reveal that “GM crops have increased crop yields by 21” (3). GM foods have a genetic high yield potential. Thus, the technology plays a significant role in ensuring food security across the world. Moreover, the technology seems to be in line with international standards that call for an equitable and fair food supply.
Secondly, GM foods influence the safety and quality of food. The technology behind the GM foods production has the potential of producing foods with significant nutritional contents (Qaim and Kouser 1). Such foods with high quantities of micronutrients help reduce cases of nutritional deficiencies resulting in a good health. The majority of developing countries have a high number of malnutrition cases (Verma et al. 4). In these countries, people rely on their staple foods, which may have inadequate nutrients. Thus, genetic modification of such staple foods ensures that the foods contain additional nutrients, which prevent or minimize malnutrition. For instance, researchers are modifying rice that contains unusual amounts vitamin A and iron content (Hallman et al. 6). Such plans will help alleviate deficiencies among people who use rice as their staple food.
Thirdly, GM foods minimize the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Traditional production force parents to use high quantities of pesticides. Moreover, consumers are against the use of such chemicals because they follow health issues (Verma et al. 4). Furthermore, the overuse of pesticides is harmful to the environment and various water sources. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in traditional production is also costly as farmers pay more to acquire these chemicals and machinery in applying the chemicals. Consequently, it increases the production cost by reducing profits made by farmers. However, GM crops have toxins that help control pests. Verma, Nanda, Singh and Mishra state that the production of GM foods eliminates the need to apply chemicals and “reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market” (5).
Another advantage of GM foods is that their production minimizes the risks of agricultural wastes through herbicide tolerance. The genetic crops modification makes crops to be resistant to one strong herbicide. In the traditional farming, farmers use several types of herbicides to destroy weeds while protecting a certain crop. In this case, farmers incur high costs of production because of the high costs of such herbicides. Moreover, the use of such herbicides results in high levels of agricultural wastes to the environment affecting it (Verma et al. 6).
GM foods are beneficial because medical providers may use them to administer vaccines. Although vaccines are paramount for the well-being of a human, a majority of people have limited access to these vaccines (Verma et al. 4). The conventional method of administering vaccines is expensive and hectic, especially in developing nations. Researchers can modify foods in such a way that they incorporate edible vaccines in these foods. The aspect is important especially in regions where people have to travel long distances to get the vaccines. Verma, Nanda, Singh and Mishra reveal that “researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes” (6).
GM foods are resistant to viruses that affect crop production resulting in inadequate food. Various fungi, bacteria, and viruses cause plant disease. Consequently, these factors affect the growth and development of plants reducing crop production. The genetic makeup of the traditional crops makes them susceptible to plant diseases (Verma et al. 7). However, GM foods have a solution to the problem. These foods are modified in such a way that they become resistant to plant diseases. Thus, the factor will save farmers from incurring losses and guarantee a bounty harvest. Moreover, it will ensure that people get a constant supply of food regardless of the presence of viruses (Verma et al. 7).
GM foods are also tolerant to cold making it possible to plant them in areas with extremely cold conditions. GM foods modifiers use an antifreeze gene from fishes in various crops such as potatoes. The antifreeze gene enables plants to survive cold conditions. Traditional plants lack such modification preventing their survival in cold conditions. Hence, GM foods enable people in regions with extremely cold conditions to produce enough food regardless of the weather conditions (Verma et al. 8). Moreover, the GM plants have the ability to survive in hot and dry conditions. The population increase has reduced land for food production to pave the way for housing. However, GM crops can tolerate drought and high salinity conditions. Therefore, they enable people to produce food in inhospitable places (Verma et al. 8).
Disadvantages of GM foods
As discussed above, GM foods are safe for the consumption of human beings. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the safety of GM foods to the public. However, a good proportion of the public and other governments across the globe remain skeptical. Critics against the consumption of GM foods provide various reasons to support their position. They argue that these foods have environmental, health, and economic effects. Maghari and Ardekani argue that the foods have long-term effects on the health of human beings (111). In their view, GM foods are resistant to antibiotics, allergencity, form toxins, and undergo nutritional changes. However, it is important to mention that it is difficult to ascertain some of these claims. Scientific researchers have shown conflicting results suggesting that the claims may be false (Maghari and Ardekani 113). For instance, Maghari and Ardekani reveal that “there are some difficulties with assessing the allergenicity of GM crops” (113).
Critics against the consumption of GM crops argue that these foods have an unintentional effect on organisms. They give an example of pollen grains from corn that causes death in butterfly caterpillars. Moreover, they argue that such crops have toxins that affect numerous insects and insect larvae (Verma et al. 9). Furthermore, the critics argue that the presence of GM crops may result in the elimination of native crops. They claim that pollinators have the ability to transfer the GM seeds to regions with native crops resulting in the native crops contamination.
Critics against GM crops are worried that with time, pests will become resistant to GM crops. The genetic modification of crops ensures that the crops have their pesticides to help control pests without using chemicals (Verma et al. 9). Although the feature seeks to reduce the use of chemicals and environmental harm, critics argue that it is a temporary solution. They claim that in the end, the effectiveness of the pesticides in these crops will reduce as the pests become resistant.
Critics against the production argue that these crops have economic effects, especially on small-scale farmers. They claim that the production cost for the GM foods is high. They also argue that the technology is unethical (Amin et al. 12481). Verma, Nanda, Singh and Mishra insist that “these new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds so high that small scale farmers and third world countries will not be able to afford seeds”(10). Moreover, critics affirm that the patent enforcement for the crops. However, the issue of enforcing the patent in GM crops has a solution. The incorporation of suicide genes into these crops helps infringe the patent in GM crops.
To conclude, the modification of foods genetically is a contentious issue. The first production of these foods has resulted in unending discussions with critics supporting and arguing against their use providing the reasons for their positions. Both sides provide evidence for their claims. The paper has focused on the benefits and the advantages of using GM foods. From the discussion above, the benefits of the GM foods surpass its disadvantages suggesting that the foods are fit for the consumption of human beings. Moreover, accepting the production and use of GM foods will help reduce cases of famine, especially in areas with extreme weather conditions.
Although some critics argue that GM crops have adverse effects on the environment, GM foods help preserve the environment by reducing the use of chemicals in fertilizers. Hence, some of the claims by those against the GM foods are unsubstantiated. However, there is a need for scientists to conduct more research to produce the best types of crops with more advantages.

Works Cited
Amin, Latifah, Handan, Fadhli, Hasmin, Roosfa, Samani, Mus Ch., Anuar, Nurina, Zainol, Zinatul A., & Jusoff, Kamaruzzaman." Risks and Benefits of Genetically Modified Foods". African Journal of Biotechnology, no. 10(58), 2011, pp. 12481-12485, Accessed Sep. 2011.
Dizon, Francis, Costa, Sarah, Rock, Cheryl, Harris, Amanda, Husk, Cierra, & Mei, Jenny. "Genetically Modified (GM) Foods and Ethical Eating". Journal of Food Science, no. 81(2), 2015, pp. 287-291, Accessed 28 Dec. 2015.
Hallman, William K., Cuite, Cara L., & Morin, Xenia K. (2013). Public Perceptions of Labeling Genetically Modified Foods. Working Paper 2013-1. Rutgers: School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, 2013, Accessed 1 Nov. 2013.
Maghari, Behrokh M., & Ardekani, Ali M. "Genetically Modified Foods and Social Concerns". Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology, no. 3(3), 2011, pp. 109-117, Accessed Jul.-Sep. 2011.
Qaim, Matin, & Kouser, Shahzad. "Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security". PLoS ONE, no. 8(6), 2013, pp. 1-7, Accessed 5 Jun. 2013.
Verma, Charu, Nanda, Surabi, Singh, Ram K., & Mishra, Sanjay. "A Review on Impacts of Genetically Modified Food on Human Health". The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, no. 4, 2011, pp. 3-11 Accessed Feb. 2011.

August 09, 2021




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