Essay: Thumps Up for Genetically Modified Food

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Thumps Up for Genetically Modified Food

The last two decades have herald unprecedented developments in both science and technology. As the physicists and engineers celebrate the inventions and innovations in information and technology, the biologists equally celebrate the advancements in the science of genetics. The latter group of scientists has successfully managed to engineer production of plants and animals using artificial means. Through special treatment and procedures carried out in the laboratories, the bio-technologists have devised means of increasing the production and growth rate of both plants and animals. Currently, it is not a surprising phenomenon to witness a sheep or a maize plantation, for instance, growing, and maturing in a matter of weeks. Foods from plants and animals subjected to this procedure are always referred to as genetically modified (abbreviated as GM) food. Nonetheless, this advancement has been subjected to criticisms from several quarters regarding the safety of genetically modified food. Some argue that such foods have long-term health implications on the health of consumers

. On the other hand, some individuals offer full support on the exercise arguing that the skeptics base their opposition on fears rather than facts. The primary focus of this study is to explore some of the reasons as to why genetically modified food should be encouraged. This is done by considering the arguments of the proponents and those in opposition.

Essentially, technologies are judged on their net advantages rather than on the claim that they are harmful. The positive side of the GMOs outweighs the negative. In the recent years, arguably, adopting certain technologies is complicated, not just because of a regulation of precaution but also because of a prejudice the media presents against the technology. In a similar manner, the propaganda being spread about the genetically modified foods is creating a misleading notion about the benefits or rather shortcomings that the technology bears. For instance, some of the people in opposition claim that genetically modified food could be responsible for the allergic reactions as well as deteriorating health conditions of individuals. In addition, there are those who assert that such foods could be having some long terms health implications and, therefore, should not be used. They insist that the consumption of GMO products must only be permitted after passing the health quality test with no cloud of doubt. Unfortunately, such demands are ridiculous and impractical. An average individual has a life span of approximately seventy years. This implies that nobody can live long enough to carry out a research and establish the long-term implication of these genetically modified foods

Considering the challenges facing the earth, the world's population set to strike the nine billion mark by 2050 and the ever-increasing strains on food, energy, and water, it is absurd to assume that a single solution to the crisis that lies ahead. In an Observer interview carried out in the guardian, Britain's government advisor, John Beddington said, "there will be no silver bullet." In order to support his argument on the same matter, the population biologists added that it will ridiculous not to maximize on the latest technologies that are effective tools of alleviating some of the potential worst world disasters that lie ahead. It is an undeniable that food security supply across the world hangs on a perilous balance. The climate change and unpredictable climate patterns have further added on this problem. In some of the world's regions, particularly Asia, Africa, and South America, millions of people are barely surviving due to scarcity of food. Adopting genetically modified food could be a surest means of safeguarding food security as even the planet's population steadily rises

Aside from alleviating possible cases of hunger by increasing food supply, genetically modified food can be engineered to contain some important elements and vitamins necessary for healthy growing. The bioengineers have successful managed to implement gene combination to promote the establishment of certain classes of nutrients in food. For instance, malnutrition is a problem in the third world where most people heavily rely on single crops such as rice and maize as their staple diet. However, rice does not contain sufficient amounts of all indispensable nutrients that are crucial to combating malnutrition. With the genetic engineering of such crops containing extra nutrients and minerals, it will be possible to alleviate nutrient deficiencies. Another case in point is the high rate of blindness in third world countries. This condition is linked to deficiency in vitamin a Nonetheless, researches at a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Plant Services have successfully come up with "golden" rice, which has a high content of vitamin a (also known as beta-carotene). Rockefeller Foundation sponsored the research. It hoped to use the golden rice to eradicate cases of vitamin a deficiency, which is rampant in the third world

. The research was in the process of incorporating increased iron content in the golden rise. Unfortunately, the grant to the research was never renewed. This action move can be attributed to the vigorous anti-GM food processing in most regions of the world.

Genetically modified food also encompasses artificial strategies and modification on crops or animals to prevent attacks from pests, herbs, and diseases. Crop losses from insect pests can be massive, thus occasioning devastating financial implication on the farmer. This can later translate to starvation in the event large tracts of farmland are affected. Farmers are forced to apply many tons of chemical pesticides each year in an attempt to contain attacks from pests. In as much as the pesticides eliminate the pests, most consumers dislike the idea of using food products treated with pesticides that bear probable health hazards. Besides using GM crops to counter pests, the same technology could be employed in order to contain the harmful effects of herbs on crops. Eliminating some weeds using physical means is not only tedious but also destroys crops. Therefore, genetically engineered crops can be developed in such a manner that they are both effective and sufficient to grow to maturity without the risk of loss from pests, herbs, and even diseases. Consequently, this move will ensure that crops yield remain peak during most of the planting season

However, some individuals insist that genetically modified food should be discouraged. They state many reasons but an outstanding one being the uncertainty of the long-term implications. In fact, these people insist that GMOs should be banned until they are proved beyond any doubt that they are safe. Unfortunately, a radical analysis of their case leaves so much to be questioned about the honesty and logic of their assertions. For example, it is ridiculous to claim that an impoverished family somewhere in Africa should not consume GMO because the long-term implications are unknown. As is usually the case, such a family ends up starving to death. Under this circumstance, a person is left to question whether the opponents of GMOs are being sensible or are simply engaged in the normal and useless activism

In conclusion, the production of genetically modified food should be encouraged at all costs. In as much as it may prove difficult to understand the long-term implication of such foods, these should not be a deterrent factor to applying such an evidently beneficial technology

. Genetically modified foods have proved their might as far as dealing with food scarcity is concerned. It is one of the surest means ensuring that large amounts of food crops are produced within the limited period. In addition, this technology reduces case of crop failure that is mostly associated with pests, diseases, and herbs. As the world population rises, the greatest challenge currently experienced is food scarcity. Furthermore, the economic situation of the world leaves many people questioning on the sustainability of the little resources that are currently available

. A critical observation from this point-of-view indicates that the most… [END OF PREVIEW]

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