According to Dictionary.com, a genetically modified organism (GMO), is an organism or microorganism whose genetic material has been modified by means of genetic engineering. They take an organism and inject it with genetics it doesn’t usually produce to enhance its abilities. Genetically modified organisms are typically used for crop production of maize, canola, and cotton. Like anything else in the world, GMO’s have a positive and negative effect our changing society.
Genetically modified organisms may also be known as selective breeding in order to make stronger organisms. These GMO’s aren’t necessarily referring only to plants, but it enhances their purpose and allows them to adapt to their changing environments; scientists viewed the process of natural selection as too slow.? (Anonymous, 2015) They made the decision to speed up the process by taking living organisms into the lab and viewing the ways they could stimulate the process by selective breeding. Transferring natural living organisms into GMO’s makes the production faster, our food sources are more nutritious, and they are more pest resistant- which also happens to be safer for our environment.
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In 2011, 12 million more hectares of GMO crops were grown in 29 countries than those grown in 2010. (Anonymous, 2011) Due to the increase in production that GM products create, it helps reduce the amount of agricultural land that is being used; it reserves more land- forests and wildlife- which then creates a great impact on the environment. Because GM crops are being produced with much more resiliency against pesticides than non-GM crops, they reduce crop loss, which later leads to higher crop yield or crop production. GM crops aren’t only being modified to become resilient to pesticides, but also to adapt to extreme weather conditions that they wouldn’t normally withstand. The GM crops produce a chemical known as Bt Toxin,? that kills any harmful insects, but will not affect the humans intaking the crop. (Anonymous, 2015) This is safer for humans that do constantly purchase GM products simply because the already built-in toxin requires fewer chemicals to make sure the items are healthy and harmless. Now, the GM crops are also being injected with genetics to help with-stand extreme weather conditions, again this helps with crop loss and production. Droughts and low-temperature can clearly make it difficult for a plant to be produced, but the genetic engineering of these organisms help them, not necessarily survive, last longer. There have been several raised concerns that GMO’s lead to health problems.
Additionally, there is also a negative aspect of the genetic organisms that are perceived to be a more efficient production. People fear that genetically modified organisms aren’t tested thoroughly enough before being sold. According to LabMate, the shortest testing time a GMO goes through is 90 days; 3 months and it still doesn’t seem to be enough for a portion of the public to feel safe with the products. (LabMate, 2018) They have yet to conduct scientific experiments that could link GMO’s to be the cause of any diseases or food allergies. Scientists began bioengineering because it was more time efficient than waiting for natural selection, however it instilled fear in people because it seems like a shortcut. If bioengineering means faster production. doesn’t that mean less observation time on the flaws that could have taken place during the process? Although scientists still have several procedures to take before releasing any GMO’s to the public, there are still hundreds of thousands of people that only see it as a faster way to make money, again, there is no definite research that has been conducted to be 100% certain that these products are safe.? The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), issued an opinion-based warning to physicians for their patients on GMO foods; apparently, immune system failures had been discovered in animal studies. (Linden, 2018) Researchers fear that because these foods are being injected with foreign genes?, which the human body isn’t accustomed to processing, they won’t be able to distinguish any dangerous side effects in time to cure it.
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