Genetically Modified Foods Harmful or Helpful Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3331 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Agriculture

Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?

Research proposal for finding out the usefulness and harmfulness of consumption of genetically modified foods

The usefulness and harmfulness of the consumption of genetically modified foods is a continuing debate. Genetically modified foods have been used to tackle the problem of food shortage due to the world's ever growing population. It leaves the question of whether there are other ways that can be used instead of the genetic modification of organisms to tackle the problem of food insecurity.

Statement of purpose

The main problem of this research is whether the consumption and production of genetically modified foods poses more harm than good to the people and other aspects of their social life. There are advantages which seem to tackle a major issue in the world today which is food security. The question of whether tackling one major problem justifies exposing ourselves to other smaller problems arising from the consumption and production of genetically modified foods should be ignored.

Background

Since the introduction of genetically modified foods into the market, there have been debates with regards to how useful or harmful the consumption is to the consumers and their environment. Genetically modified foods are products that are obtained from organisms which have had their genetic codes changed through genetic engineering which enables them acquire traits that are desirable. There have been debates over the whether it is ethical to alter the genetically modified foods and whether or not their consumption possesses a risk to the health of those who consume them and also how aspects of the human life, that is economic, and environment, is affected by its production. I was inspired to pursue this research to the find out whether the genetically modified foods pose more harm than good when I read that Australia had banned the planting of Genetically modified food crops from 2003 to 2008 and also when it was reported that India had put on hold the production of its first genetically modified food crop, egg plants, due to safety concerns over the effect of its production on the people and the environment, (BBC). There are a lot of people dying from hunger and from hunger related complications which could be solved if there was enough food.

Significance of the study

My reason for pursuing this study is to gain further insight into the subject of genetically modified foods. I also hope to provide people with easy access to information that has been researched correctly so as to provide them with education in relation to the production, advantages and disadvantages of the genetically modified foods.

Objective and Hypothesis

With regards to the debate that surrounds the production and consumption of genetically modified foods, it is important for the pros and cons of these foods be examined against the side effects of their consumption and production so as to enable people decide on their own whether their consumption is worth overlooking the harm that they pose on the planet and its occupants.

Objective

To find out the beneficiaries of the production of genetically modified foods.

To find out which countries use genetically modified foods.

To come up with ways through which people can be educated on the benefits of the production of genetically modified foods.

To find out what goes into the production of genetically modified foods.

To find out how effective the methods used to test the safety of genetically modified foods in ruling out the possibility of harmful side effects.

To find out the benefits and harm that arises from the use of genetically modified foods.

Hypothesis

The production of genetically modified crops seems to show more proven benefits than proven side effects and which will benefit the entire human race as well as the earth in the long run.

Methodology

The research will entail the use of the internet and other publications that address the benefits and dangers posed by the consumption and production of genetically modified foods. This information will be used in coming up with a number of benefits as well as the dangers posed by the consumption of these foods. The reason why I will use this research method is because the collection of the information through interviewing of various individuals who specialize in these fields would take a long time and would prove expensive to carry out. This research will require approximately two weeks for searching for publications which highlight the benefits and dangers posed by genetically modified foods. This time will also be used to look for viable websites and online publications.

Problems expected

Due to the lack of tests or rather test results disproving the claims of danger posed by the consumption and production of genetically engineered crops, the will be a hard time finding literature that proves that genetically modified foods are a hundred percent health. I also expect to find that there is scarcity in publications on genetically modified food toxicity. There are no peer-reviewed publications of clinical studies on how genetically modified foods affect the human health and even tests performed on animals are few and a bit far in between.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In conclusion, the use of genetically modified foods debate will be here for some time until alternative methods of providing food security are found or the problems that arise from its consumption are tackled. I would recommend the education of the masses as well as provision of informative and detailed literature about the genetically modified foods.

Research Paper

Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?

The debate concerning the benefits or dangers that the genetically modified foods pose on the body and environment is one that will continue for a long time unless the public is educated about every aspect of the crops. Genetically modified foods are foods which are obtained from plants or animals whose genetic codes have been altered so as to give them desirable traits. These traits can be to enable the organism grow faster or become bigger or become resistant to diseases or pests that would otherwise afflict them or reduce their rate of reproduction. Genetic modification is not a new thing to the world, the only difference is that nowadays, it is achieved through genetic engineering while in the past; it was achieved through breeding and cross breeding to achieve the desired results. Breeding however took years to achieve the results desired while in using genetic engineering, the process takes much less time. Genetically modified foods came into the market in the early 1990's as a way through which food production could be increased to cater for an ever increasing population but until now, debates concerning their effect on human lives are still taking place and with no indication of ending any time soon (Klintman 247).

The benefits of genetically modified foods

Genetically modified foods are a solution to the problem of feeding the world's rapidly growing population. Genetically modified crops tend to be bigger in size and grow at a faster rate than normal plants which mean that food will be available so as to feed the people. This in turn means that the amount of land that is used in the production of a certain quantity of food is reduced without necessarily reducing the quantity of crop produced.

Genetically modified crops are pest resistant which means that crop production is not reduced to the destruction of crops by pests. This increases production of food which helps in feeding the population and reduces the amount of money spent on buying pesticides as well as the losses associated with the destruction of crops. It in turn means that there is less pollution and contamination of the crop before it is harvested and sold. Some pesticides used during the rearing of crops can end up contaminating the food and being consumed by people with tremendous risks to their health and the surrounding environment. The use of drought and salient tolerant seeds means that there is complete utilization of land resources and also that farming can take place in these areas. The same use of cold tolerant seeds means that production takes place all year round which means that there is a constant supply of food.

Genetically modified foods can be used in the production of vaccines for human diseases which if left untreated or prevented can prove fatal. Many poor countries cannot afford to get vaccines or refrigerators for keeping the vaccines at an optimum temperature. Poor infrastructure also makes it difficult to travel to health care centers to get inoculations. Potatoes, for instance, are used in the production of cholera vaccines since it was found that a part of the cholera bacterium which the human body recognizes could be used as a vaccine and the genes that comprised the bacterial part could be put in potatoes and shipped to many areas in need of health care as they could withstand long shipping and storage. When cooked, some of the genes survived and helped the body make antibodies that were essential in protecting… [END OF PREVIEW]

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