Genetically Modified Organisms were developed in the mid-1990s. Since they were first created, there have always been people who have been against them. These people have made false claims using faulty scientific researches. This research paper will prove that Genetically Modified Organisms should not be feared and should be widely used around the world. This will be done by proving that Genetically Modified Organisms do not present health hazards, reduces the impact of the environment, and makes food more available to people around the world.
First is the addressing the idea that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not safe. GMOs are created through transferring DNA from one organism and placing it into the DNA of another. Scientist have proven that this process is completely safe. There have been “more than 1,700 peer-reviewed safety studies have been published, including five lengthy reports from the National Research Council, that focus on human health and the environment” (Borel).
The National Research Council is not the only major organization that has published this type of report as “medical and scientific groups worldwide, including the World Health Organization and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have stated that the GMOs currently approved for market are safe” (Borel). Another scientific study: selected original research papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged in the GE [Genetically Engineered] crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has atured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide. The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards (Nicolia, et al). The FDA also regulated and monitored the use of GMOs within the United States. The FDA has taken steps to calm the public. Soon after GMOs were first created, “FDA established a voluntary consultation process with GM Genetically Modified] crop developers to review the determination of ‘substantial equivalence’ before the crop is marketed, such as assessing the toxicity and allergenicity of the gene product and the plant itself” (U. S. ).
Even with there being a wide consensus in the scientific community concerning the safety of GMOs, many consumers still worry that the DNA that has been placed into the new organisms will transfer into humans when it is consumed. Once the DNA has been placed into the genetic code of the organism, it will stay contained in to genetic code like normal DNA would. Scientists have proven “transgenic DNA does not differ intrinsically or physically from any other DNA already present in foods and that the ingestion of transgenic DNA does not imply higher risks than ingestion of any other type of DNA” (Nicolia, et al).
While this has calmed some consumers’ worries, there are still more. Another health fear of the public is that consuming GMOs will harm their organs. The FDA has created sectors to ensure that GMOs will not harm humans or animals. One of these sectors is the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition would conduct a food-safety analysis to ensure that accidental expose to the drug through the food supply will not cause health risks” (U. S. ) and have proved that the current foods available are safe for consumption.
This has been proved by performing “histopathological [microscopic examination of tissue] examination of reproductive organs, liver, kidneys, and spleen showed no differences between GMO-eating and non-GMOeating animals” (Norris). In correlation to this study, it has been concluded “rat feeding studies like these, in which rats are fed a potential toxic item and monitored for adverse effects, are considered both specific and sensitive for monitoring toxicity of foods” (Norris). There have also been no confirmed reports of GMOs adversely affecting cattle.
GMOs have been used to feed animals since there were first harvested and “there were no indications of unusual trends in health of animals since 1996 when GMO crops were first harvested” (Entine). These conclusions have been made worldwide and most notably “the European Commission has itself published reports that found no scientific evidence that GM organisms were a danger to the environment or food and feed safety” (UK 51). The number of cases that claim to have animals adversely affected by GMOs is few given the fact that GMOs have used to feed cattle for roughly 20 years now.
If there were widespread, adverse health problems with animals consuming GMOs, the results would be would be evident. The second major problem to address is the idea that GMOs are harmful to the environment, when in fact, GMOs have a positive effect on the environment. This can happen in a variety of ways. One of these positive impacts is “it turns out there have been dramatic reductions in the use of agrichemicals, insecticides in particular” (Gmos 132). This reduction in agrichemicals is the cause of two main factors: reducing the amount of chemicals applied and reduced emissions of greenhouse gasses.
Chemical resistant crops are genetically engineered to resistant certain chemicals. Consequently, producers have been able to use chemicals that are more effective on their crops. Due to the fact that they are more effective, the total amount of chemicals needed to be applied on fields in lowered. Ever since producers have started to use GMOs, “the use of pesticides on biotech crop area was reduced by 443 million kg of active ingredient (9. 1% reduction), and the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use in these crops as measured by the EIQ [Environmental Impact Quotient], fell by 17. %” (Brookes and Barfoot 130). This is good for the environment because the less agrichemicals that are applied, the lower the overall impact of GMOs on the environment. Another fear of consumers is the residue left of produce from agrichemicals. With fewer applications and less chemicals used, the overall residue left on produce will be lower.
When agrichemicals are applied, they are sprayed on the fields using varying types of machinery. Naturally, with fewer applications, these machines are used less. Reduced fuel use from less frequent herbicide or insecticide application” (Brookes and Barfoot 131) lowers the overall emissions of greenhouse gasses. The amount that greenhouse gasses have been reduced is quite large. “The combined biotech crop-related carbon dioxide emission savings from reduced fuel use and additional soil sequestration were equal to the removal from the road of 8. 6 million cars” (Brookes and Barfoot 132) which would be a highly recognized and publicized effect if it would occur in the vehicle industry. With the greenhouse emissions lowered at this amount, this is among one of the most prestigious advantages of GMOs.
The last idea to be addressed is how GMOs can make food more accessible to the world. “A lot of people do not understand the potential of GM [Genetically Modified] technology” (Gmos 136) and there can be massive benefits from the use of GMOS. Even though the “FDA considers most GM crops as ‘substantially equivalent to non-GM crops” (U. S. ), they do have their differences. The major difference, and arguably the most important difference, is the increased yield from GM crops. On average, GM crops “increased crop yield by 22%” (Klumper and Qain).
This is a significant increase in yield and any producer would gladly take this increase. Along with these yield increases comes a profit increase. GM crops have “average profit gains for GM-adopting farmers are 69%” (Klumper and Qain). With these substantial increases in yield and profit, food has become more accessible to people across the world, especially people in developing countries. “Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries” (Klumper and Qain) which means the advantages for GM crops in developing countries are even more profound.
The “yield gains in developing countries are 14 percentage points higher” (Klumper and Qain) and “the profit gains of GM crops are 60 percentage points higher” (Klumper and Qain); the development of GM crops has been a blessing to developing countries as they are producing more food for the citizens of their nations and more currency to promote their economies. GM crops are even more accessible in developing nations than in developed nations, because “most GM crops are not patented in developing countries, so the GM seed prices are lower” (Klumper and Qain).
Another way that GMOs can make food more accessible to the world is the many variances of GM crops. GM crops can be altered to be resistant to harsh weather conditions. These include drought-resistant, heat-resistant, and cold-resistant crops. These changes allow areas that were not previously used to grow crops due to weather conditions to be used for agricultural purposes. Drought-resistant crops allow the arid regions that receive little rainfall or are on the outskirts of deserts, such as the Southwest Region of the United States, to grow crops.
Heat-resistant crops are often used in similar regions to drought-resistant crops, but the heat-resistant crops can be grown in the hot, humid regions of the world, like the Middle East. The cold-resistant crops are grown in areas such as the northern United States where the growing seasons are shortened. With the expansion of areas that are able to produce crops, there will be food that is easier to access for the people in these regions. With the increase in yields and increase in arable lands, the farming efficiency of the farmable land has increased.
Once again, this has increase the availability of food to people around the world. With the population of the world expected to rapidly rise in coming years, GMOs are the only current solution that will be able to support the current population along with the population that will be added. Through this paper, it has been proved that GMOs should not be feared by the public and should be widely used. This was done by proving that GMOs present no health hazards, reduce the impact on the environment, and increase the availability of food around the world.