Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetically modified foods (GMOs) are a broad group of plants, animals, and bacteria whose genetic material is artificially manipulated through genetic engineering. Although GMOs are endorsed as the best solution to malnutrition in developing countries, I posit that they should be banned due to the adverse effects they might have on both human health and the environment. According to Peel (2005), the health and environmental risks posed by GMOs include: their potential to be toxic to both animal and human consumers, including organisms that may not be targeted, such as butterflies; adverse effects from agricultural chemicals used to make GM crops herbicide resistant; the possibility that GM crops might transfer the altered generic to other conventional crops with implications for biodiversity;...
Moreover, government oversight of their production, distribution and use is dangerously lax, which creates loopholes that might be exploited at the expense of consumers. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to mandate the labeling of GMOs, does not encourage agency studies, and has also allowed companies to sell genetically modified foods without any notification (Peel, 2005). Banning the GMOs will be advantageous because the consumers and the environment will be saved from the risks associated with their use. However, eliminating GMOs does not lack its fair share of disadvantages. Jonsen (2005) explains that the world population is slowly outgrowing agricultural resources, and lack of GMOs will increase poverty, malnutrition and starvation in developing countries because they have the potential to increase nutrient values and crop yield. Banning them also amounts to rejecting technological and scientific advancements that have proven efficient in solving a variety of problems. Nevertheless, I maintain that the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits derived from GMOs, and hence they should not be endorsed. From an ethical point-of-view, I believe the genetic engineering of plants and animals amounts to playing God. Despite the fact that humans have modified plants and animals to enhance their genetic make up for centuries, genetic engineering is quite different because it involves inserting the genes of one species into the gene of a completely different species, to create a new species that did not exist on the planet before. In agreement with Charles, Prince of Wales, creation belongs to God alone. Even the non-religious believe that the…
Jonsen, A.R. (2005). Bioethics Beyond the Headlines: Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Decides? Oxford: Rowan and Littlefield Publishers
Peel, J. (2005). The Precautionary Principle in Practice: Environmental Decision-making and Scientific Uncertainty. Sydney: The Federation Press.
GMO GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS Risks and Perceptions Analysis of Genetically Modified Foods Genetically modified foods have the potential of solving many of the issues that are present in respect to feeding the world's population; especially as it grows to an estimate nine billion by the end of the century. The technologies can create crops that are able to resist certain insects and are more suitable to grow in less than ideal environmental conditions.
Genetically Modified Organisms Technology GMO Gentically Modified Organisms A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is any organism that has had its genetic makeup altered by humans Ahmed, 2002. The organism could be an animal, plant, or microorganism. The changing of the genetic code could involve subtracting, adding, or altering. All these changes could be from the same species or different species, which would give the organism characteristics that it does not have normally. GMO
GMO Food The process of genetic modification of an organism Genetic modification of an organism is the process by which the genes of an organism are altered to introduce useful genes that are believed to help it to grow and thrive in any given condition. The genes contain DNA, a basic building block of all living organisms that is responsible for the presence or absence of certain traits or characteristics and modification
On a biological level, consumption of genetically modified foods means the potential for "pleiotropic and insertional effects," Dona explains on page 165. Pleiotropic refers to the possibility that a gene may have more than one affect on the food. The above-mentioned effects could result from an increase of "anti-nutrients"; and moreover human health could be impacted due to the use of "viral DNA," Dona continues (165). The pleiotropic affect could
One of the most interesting articles, "Genetic Engineering Risks," really described the issue with GMOs: the difference between genetically engineered organisms and their non-engineered counterparts is usually just one gene or a handful of genes and genetically engineered organisms have new genes that are put into their DNA using molecular technology; they would not have been able to do this with traditional breeding methods. "Because such a small fraction of
This toxin is currently used as a conventional insecticide in agriculture and is safe for human consumption," (WHO 2010). This begs the question: if the "toxin" is safe, then why is it called a toxin? With similar grim irony, biotechnology companies are inserting viruses and bacteria into plants too. Theoretically, these alterations to the genetic structure of the plant are "safe," but there have been no longitudinal studies showing