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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants and animals that are developed in the laboratory through genetic engineering. Scientists use biotechnical methods to manipulate an organism’s genome. They select animals and plants with desired specifics to breed subsequent generation. The process ensures that animals and crops have traits such as resistance to pests and high productivity. However, many people believe that Genetically Modified Organisms are associated with diseases, such as cancer and allergies. Scientists have opposed the notion by developing agricultural products that have health benefits and are resistant to negative environmental factors. The current food market is selling products that are made from genetically modified farm products.
Biotechnology provides new methods of benefiting from agricultural products and land through commercial activities. Genetically modified foods have indicated positive results in the food chain. The scientific experiments have resulted in crops that can survive in harsh environmental conditions and resist pest attacks. Some of the products are recommended by experts for both animal and human consumption because they help to boost immunity. They are also reliable during the drought season because they do not depend on weather conditions. During dry seasons, many agricultural farms prefer genetically modified crops for animal feeds. They grow in small facilities known as hydroponic systems where they develop in few days and ready for direct feeding (Eastham & Sweet, 2002). GMOs are preferable because they resist some natural disasters such are pest and diseases outbreak.
It is important to consider the importance of technology in the modern agriculture. The current farming is not based on seasons that depend on the environment to determine what to grow. People in hot regions have developed seeds that can adapt to the harsh conditions. However, the genetically engineered food industry has received condemnation from some users around the world. They are terrified of consuming products that are made from the crops and animals. According to their arguments, GMOs are the leading cause of chronic conditions in the society. As a result, the communities have developed their own companies that produce food products from indigenous crops and livestock. They label their goods “No G.M.O.s” to distinguish from other products.
The main purpose of genetic engineering is to produce agricultural seeds that can survive in harsh conditions. Scientist extract DNA from a plant that produces well and combines with another DNA of the crop they want to modify. The crop grows while showing the traits associated with the other crop (Eastham & Sweet, 2002). Experts study animals that exhibit desirable characteristics and remove the gene that enables it to adapt. They recombine it to animals that express weakness and less productive to improve their development. Therefore, GMOs are not developed to negatively affect agriculture but to improve the adaptability. Genetically modified products have high levels of nutrition and are recommended for human consumption. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lack of vitamin A affects many people all over the world, especially children. This deficiency mainly affects the third world nations that largely consume rice. Vitamin A can be obtained through conversion of Pro-vitamin A by enzymes, eliminating the deficiency.
GMOs products are associated with many allergic cases. Experts use random exercise to insert foreign genes into crops to improve survival chances. The technology has limited information on how the DNA can react to its new environment (Evenson, Santaniello & Zilberman, 2002). In addition, the process of inserting the DNA of one plant to another is crucial because scientists are not sure about the end result. The product can be recommended for consumption by some individuals but it can be toxic to others. Agricultural institutions should ensure the crops produced can be used by all individuals. The gene can disrupt the functioning of other genes and create allergens and toxin in the crop. GMOs may contain protein from another plant that a person is allergic to.
In my opinion, I support the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They have helped farmers with small lands to maximize on their produce. It has allowed them to grow crops and rear animals in limited space. The farmers can also grow fodder crops in small spaces with controlled conditions, which help to improve the production of milk in dairy animals. They are also reliable during dry seasons because they do not depend on climatic conditions. Genetic engineering has also resulted in animals that can resist diseases.
In the modern world, the farming land is not enough to produce food to sustain the increasing population. Hence, biotechnology is preferred to produce more yields in a small space. Experts have modified seeds that do not need soil to grow. These crops can withstand drought and are pest resistant. For example, bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis in corn has toxins that destroy pests such us the monarch caterpillar (Mooney & Bernardi, 1990). The farmer will not spend resources on buying pesticides and hence can use the money to improve their standards of living. Foods can be genetically modified to improve tastes and flavor. A study was conducted where people tested the taste and flavor while blindfolded. Most people chose genetically engineered foods. Finally, biotechnology adds nutrients to foods such as lettuce, reduces starch in potatoes or lowering the level of saturated fats in cooking oils. On the contrary, some people argue that genetically modified organisms should not be used at all. They argue that GMOs are a risk to the environment because the genetically modified seeds may spread to other fields (Mooney & Bernardi, 1990)
Eastham, K., & Sweet, J. (2002). Genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Luxembourg: Official for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Evenson, R., Santaniello, V., & Zilberman, D. (2002). Economic and social issues in agricultural biotechnology. Wallingford: CABI.
Mooney, H., & Bernardi, G. (1990). Introduction of genetically modified organisms into the environment. Wiley.
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