Genetically Modified Foods
By Nayaab Iftakhar

Nature should stay the way it is, right? We all want to be able to see the trees, plants, and animals inhabit our earth. However, the human population is constantly increasing, and it is predicted to double in the next 50 years. With this fact in mind, we will have to make dramatic changes to the world, which have to have a positive impact on Earth. Food shortage is one of the major concerns that the world needs to find a solution to. Progression of the research has led to the creation of genetically modified foods. While some feel genetically modified foods are advantageous, others question their benefits. Let us explore the benefits and drawbacks of this controversy.

Primarily, the reason for genetically modified foods is to supply food to the world’s population without a lot of labour and expenses. It is a faster way of generating food and can even be planted on unsuitable terrain. So what are genetically modified foods, you ask? They are basically plants that have been modified in the laboratories to improve the desired traits in them. This allows for them to have more nutrient content, resistance to herbicides, bad weather, and so on. Plants can be crossbred, but this is quite time-consuming so genetic engineering does the same work more efficiently and accurately.

These plants are becoming more and more prevalent as time goes by and their vital role of providing an adequate supply of food to the world seems uncompromised. Although these foods are very useful, the ones who oppose these foods have concerns in three main categories which are: environmental hazards, human health risks, and economic concerns. There has been an incident where pollen from Bt-corn caused high mortality rates in monarch butterflies. These insects feed on milkweed, but the pollen from the Bt-corn seemed to have been blown by the wind to the milkweed plants. The caterpillars perished by consuming the pollen and, therefore, caused immediate change to the animal cycle. Apart from that, Europeans and Americans have developed deadly allergies to peanuts and other foods. By introducing a new gene in a plant, it could cause even more life-threatening situations. The costly process of introducing and establishing GMO’s (Genetically Modified Foods) into the market will raise the concerns of investors. They will want a profitable investment, which basically will involve minimizing expenses. This could affect quality of the foods.

If there are many ways to tackle the disadvantageous sides of GMO’s, then going ahead with it should not be a hassle. If these foods can assist humans in their advanced world, I think more attention should be brought to it. After all, this could be the answer to one of our problems with our growing population.


Source: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php


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