Essay: Genetically Modified Food Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

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Genetically Modified Food

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been a hot topic of conversation over the last decade. Environmental groups, public interest groups and governmental agencies have all voiced their opinions over the increasing development and use of genetically modified foods. Genetic engineering involves transferring genes from one species of living organism to another, to provide some sort of benefit. Although the genetic modifications are typically performed on crops, such as corn and soybeans, there has also been experimentation with livestock as well. Some see genetically modified foods as simply a technological advancement that will benefit society. Others see genetically modified foods as posing significant concerns to human health and the environment.

There are several benefits genetically modified foods offer society. Crops can be produced more effectively and efficiently, with reduced maturation time and an improved resistance to pests and disease. This results in a lessened need for pesticides. Genetic modification also can increase the nutrients in a crop. Genetically modified golden rice, for instance, produces approximately 20 times more beta-carotene, which the body then turns into vitamin a This can help reduce the incidence of "vitamin a deficiency and childhood blindness in developing countries" (Black). genetically modified foods can also result in soil and water conservation as well as "increased food security for growing populations" ("Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms").

Despite these benefits, there are significant concerns that must be addressed with genetically modified foods. One of the most significant concerns is that foods that are familiar to consumers may become allergenic. As an example, for some consumers nuts pose a serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction, and a GM soybean that was crossed with a Brazil nut produced an allergic reaction. genetically modified foods can indirectly affect antibiotic resistance as well, as resistant genes enter the food chain. For the environment, pesticide resistant crops can be harmful, such as a 1999 Cornell study that expressed concern regarding the toxicity of these crops pollen to monarch butterflies (Hanten).

In the end, genetically modified foods do offer some societal benefits. However, these crops cannot be allowed to be developed and grown unchecked. The public health concerns that arise with genetically modified foods are too great to simply allow them to enter the food chain. In addition, the concerns for the environment outweigh many of the benefits. Instead, scientists should… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Genetically Modified Food Genetically Modified (GM) Foods.  (2010, December 4).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genetically-modified-food/5938

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"Genetically Modified Food Genetically Modified (GM) Foods."  Essaytown.com.  December 4, 2010.  Accessed May 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genetically-modified-food/5938.