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In order to understand the controversy of genetically engineered crops one must understand what genetic engineering or genetic modification is: “GMO are organisms that are generated by combining genes of different species using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology. Resulting organisms are then said to be transgenic, genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM). This group of organisms includes... plants.” (Celec et al., 2005) The genetic modification of crops and plants was created so that crops could, “... protect themselves against insects and disease, to feed and vaccinate people at the same time, to flourish in poor soil and drought, or to improve the quantity and bioavailability of individual nutrients.” (Roberts, Struble, McCullum-Gomez, Wilkins, 2006). These benefits may seem to outweigh the risks and in reality they do, however this does not mean the consumer should not be notified of the risks they are taking. The hallmark of our free society demands that the consumer be able to choose whether or not they want to eat something that may have health risks product labeling that identifies GMO ingredients allows for consumers to choose a particular product while ensuring that the producer feel more at ease with the way they disclose information and promote their product.
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It is different from breeding because instead of getting random genes, scientists are putting the desired gene directly into the plants’ DNA. Genetically modified foods are a controversial topic throughout most of the country but most Americans would be very surprised to hear that more than ninety percent of corn and soybeans are genetically modified and that more than sixty percent of Americans did not know that they have consumed a modified food, “There is no safety hazard in using genetically modified soybean oil over conventional soybean oil” (Jacobson 7). Why change the food in the first place, changing the plant so it could be more resistance to drought or pest that can harm the plant has obvious benefits that we can use and because of that modified foods are beneficial to society. To begin there are many positives to making plants more resistance to herbicides. For those that do not know herbicides are used to kill off weeds that would otherwise steal the nutrients from the crop plants.
Many of these concerns are well stressed in mass media, but sometimes biased views are the only ones presented. Safety with human health and the effects on the environment appear to be the strongest and most discussed subject matter. While issues of concern accompany the usage of GM crops, argument can be made to justify their production. HISTORY What many people do not know is that genetic modification has been going on since the founder of Genetics, Gregor Mendel, cross- bred his pea plants for different affects. Many of the flowers sold and bought in our society are mutations and mixing of genes.
In a time before genetically modified crops were as common as they are today, the use of the crop was to feed a person or use in a way to gain money. It was the responsibility of other aspects of crop growing to deter pests and keep the plant healthy. Genetically modified crops and foods are now coupled with the “proper” use of the crop and responsible for the other phase of growing crops. Many ecologists b... ... middle of paper ... ... growing of genetically modified foods may be damaging the environment and the ecosystem but when it comes to the labeling debate my opinion is a solid no despite the fears and unknown that are associated with the food. The debate over labeling genetically modified foods in Colorado revolves around the economic, health and consumer choice aspects of GM foods.
Chemicals are constantly being developed or improved to enhance the competitiveness and adaptability of crops, and to kill the parasites and weeds which plague the agricultural sector. . This however is not always good as the plant and the pests then become resistant to these new chemicals defeating the purpose of it being used. The new chemicals which are produced to kill these strong pests and weeds may be more harmful to other plants and remove nutrients within the soil in turn reducing the yield of agricultural crops. The benefits of these characteristics are seen in Argentina according to Pelletier (2010) as they use glyphosphate resistant soybean which allowed the comeback of this crop, as the so... ... middle of paper ... ...9).
Genetically modified foods: Harmful or helpful? Retrieved from www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php Zilberman, D., Sexton, S. E., Marra, M., & Fernandez-Cornejo, J. (n.d.). The economic impact of genetically engineered crops. Choices, 129.