Genetically Modified Food is Good

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Jim is a farmer from Maize, Kansas, and he loves his job. There is only one thing that he has repeatedly struggled with ever since his start. He loses millions of crops each year due to environmental factors. One of his friends has recently started using a different kind of crop that has helped him drastically. The reason that he has been helped some much is because he has been using Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Jim asks what a GMOs are and if they are safe to use. People will normally take the side that they are bad for you since they are a new discovery and not to much was known about them. Research that has been done by scientists all over the world has shown that GMOs are safe for people to consume.

For the longest time, insects and other things have caused farmers to struggle with making mass quantities of crops. Around the 1980’s scientists started experimenting with changing the genes of crops to help with using less pesticides (Genetically modified food 1). Scientist struggle with finding the right recipe to make sure the food was okay to sell, but in the mid-1990’s, the first GMO food made its way to the market (Genetically modified food 1). Some people may not know what a GMO is. In the article “Genetically modified food” it explains how GMO foods are engineered by scientists to benefit farmers and other people who make food: “Genetic engineers use special techniques to change an organism’s genes. In the production of GM foods, scientists alter the genetic material of certain crops to introduce new traits(characteristics) that can benefit farmers, food manufacturers, consumers, or the environment” (Genetically modified food 1). When scientist modify a crops food it is to help all kinds of food producers so that they can produce more food for more people. Genetic engineering scientists usually use the same technique to modify crops to resist insects: “To engineer a crop plant to resist insect attacks, scientists usually take a gene from a bacterium…. These bacteria make proteins that kill insects” (Genetically modified food 1). Modifying crops to resist insect attacks helps with saving millions of crops.

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There are a handful of reasons that a farmer or and industry would want to have there food genetically modified. One reason for using these kinds of crops is helping fight of pests: “ According to Croplife International, more than a third of the world’s potential crop production is lost each year to pests, such as weeds, insects and diseases” (All Africa 2). Pests are a huge problem for farmers. Most farmers have to spend millions if not billions on herbicides and pesticides each year on helping slow down these pests. With the help of genetically modified crops, harmful pesticides have been less used: “While herbicides are still being used with GE crops it appears that there’s a shift toward using less toxic herbicides in place of the more environmentally undesirable herbicides practices, this study found that many farmers had benefited economically from GE crop varieties” (Hibma 2). Pesticides and herbicides are very harmful to the atmosphere of the earth by polluting the air and we should use gm crops to slow down the polluting of the air. Another thing that GM crops could do is help all the malnourished children: “Nutrition enhanced foods such as “golden rice” could help millions of malnourished children suffering from vitamin A deficiency” (at issue 18). Genetic engineers could also add a vitamin or something that a person may need that they are not getting to something else like a crop and this could end up helping a person obtain this vitamin or thing that they need. This could go a long way because maybe in a certain case this could cause someones life to be saved.

Just like any topic there are pros and cons to genetically modified food, and because these are somewhat new, people are very hesitant to try these. From the research that I have done I think that they are okay to eat. Dr. Margaret Smith is a geneticist specializing in plant breeding at Cornell University explained how some labs scientists have done were done incorrectly or altered:

Dr. Smith explains that a body of more than 100 independently-funded studies has not revealed evidence of any food or feed safety concerns with currently-commercialized GE crop varieties those few studies that have purported to show problems from feeding GE crops have been widely discredited by experienced scientists for their poor design, inappropriate analysis and other scientific problems. (Hibma 2)

Labs showing that GM crops have had negative effects on animals have been proven wrong. These scientist may have not gotten the results that they were wanting and just wrote down different results that they like or just changed the material to show that it had a negative effect. Another thing that shows that these do not have a negative effect is that Dr. Smith explained that crops have already been genetically changed throughout history: “She points out that our domesticated crops and animals are already ‘not natural’ due to centuries of crossbreeding and hybridization” (Hibma 1). Due to all the crossbreeding and hybridization throughout the past centuries, genetically changing the genes of these plants would be the same as them evolving. Many other scientist have also done the research showing that GMOs are safe (baylen 1).

Some scientist have come up with hypothesis that could happen in the long run. One suggested that a lot of plants could have a gene come up and create poison: “In some cases, plants contain inactive pathways leading to toxic substances. Addition of new genetic material through genetic engineering could reactivate these inactive pathways…” (at issue 77). This could happen, but once that gene gets exposed and has been found, the Food and Drug Administration would be able to find this particular plant and withdraw it from the environment. Another hypothesis that a scientist has come up with is that the food could become antibiotic resistant (at issue 76). This means that once we eat a certain type of food that has this gene it would spread throughout our body and would input a gene into us making us resistant to antibiotics too. This would also be very hard to happen because once we have eaten a plant usually it is dead so the gene from it would not be able to be spread.

Genetically modified foods have had a huge debate over whether or not they are safe. This is not the only huge argument over these types of crops. People are also very concerned with the labeling of this product. Peggy Lemaux, a cooperative extension specialist and crop biotechnologist from Berkeley University, states how there is no specific label for GM crops: “Current foods with genetically engineered ingredients are not labeled because no significant differences exist in, for example, vitamins, fats and toxins” (1). In the United States they do not specifically label normal foods that have been genetically modified. Since the U.S. does not label their GM foods, it is very hard for them to trade internationally (Genetically modified food 1). There are some foods where they have added a gene to it or mixed it with something that is known to have a common allergen. This has to have a label so that it does not cause a outbreak: “Regarding allergenicity, foods must be labeled if they derive from a plant engineered with genetic information from a previously recognized allergenic source, like peanut, soy or wheat, or from a plant in which the new protein has characteristics of known allergens” (Lemaux 1). These have to be labeled because if they were not and they would have caused a kid to have an outbreak they would more than likely be sued. This would also put a very bad name for the genetically modified foods.

There are some countries that do not want genetically modified food. One of them being Europe and this is hurting farmers (Hattam 1). This is a huge problem because that means farmers can not sell to anyone at all in the continent of Europe. Another thing that farmers are starting to struggle with is that the price yield for growing GM crops is not increasing so the farmers are losing money: “lost an average of $1.31 per acre over the last six years–a total loss of $92 million nationwide… Bt corn, farmers pay 30 to 35 percent more than the cost of conventional seed. But those higher costs usually didn’t pay off’ in increased yields” (Hattam 1). The price that the farmers are paying is not making up for how much they are making, but one thing that they could try to do is use seeds from crops that they have already grown. They could have these seeds tested to make sure that they have all the correct genes and by doing this it should create a profit. One thing that they might have to do to get extra money from europe is make their farms half GM and half non-gmo. By doing this they could sell the non-gmo crops to Europe and other countries who do not believe in eating genetically modified food and they could sell the food that is modified to the countries that are okay or semi okay with eating crops that are modified.

The countless amount of hours that scientists have spent researching and testing genetically modified crops showing that they are safe has paid off. Looking through all the labs and finding multiple labs that have stated how bad GMOs are for you have been proven to be lies. Genetically modified crops help out the farmer drastically. The amount of labor needed for the crops is lowered, and so is the amount of pesticides and herbicides. Even though the amount per seed is more for GM crops than it is for non-GM crops, there are ways that a farmer could work around it to make sure that he gets the profit he needs. To say something is bad when there is no specific evidence of it harming human life is inaccurate.

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Genetically Modified Food is Good. (2021, Nov 06). Retrieved from

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