The Controversy of Genetically Modified Crops

analytical Essay
1402 words
1402 words

The Controversy of Genetically Modified Crops

You may know about the emerging field of biotechnology - the medicine, the ethics, the DNA, the Human Genome, etc. But few realize the emergence of its agricultural branch, and the international conflict that has arisen from it. It may apply to you more than you thought, for half of the soybean products and a quarter of the corn you ate in 1999 may have been genetically modified (Kaufman A6). Genetically modified crops (commonly referred to as GMOs) are crops whose characteristics have been altered to produce a favorable trait, whether it be prolonged freshness, a more attractive appearance, or pesticide resistance (Activist 1). Genetic alteration is the act of inserting a gene, which contains specific DNA (usually from another species), into an organism so that it will produce a protein to create a specific trait. Many have argued over the ethical appropriateness of the issue, but this time new concerns come into view. Many consumers all over the world are worried about human safety, environmental preservation, and international trade.

Arguments between the United States and the European Union (EU) have dominated the controversy. And seeing as that the economies of the two systems combined make up about half of the entire world's economy, it is important to try to quell it as soon as possible (External Relations 1). British uncertainty over human safety of GMOs stemmed a ban on all GM production (excluding experimental growth) and on certain GMO imports (U.S. Department of State 1). Its use of the "precautionary principle," which does not allow the full commercialization of GMOs in the EU until they are substantially scientifically proven to be...

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...ticle." E-mail to Kate Pielemeier. "Genetically Modified Crops Feed Ongoing Controversy." The Journal of the American Medical Association. v.283 i2 p.188. InfoTrac Web: Health Reference Center-Academic. 12 Jan. 2000.

8. Rusting, Rick. "Moving Against Malnutrition." Scientific American. 71. Sept. 2000.


9. "Sticky Labels." Science and Technology. Ottawa. 29 Apr. 1999. 18

Dec. 2000.

10. "The EU's relations with the US." External Relations. 18 Dec. 2000.

11. Thompson, Larry. "thesis article." E-mail to Kate Pielemeier. "Are Bioengineered

Foods Safe?" FDA Consumer. v34 i1 p.18. InfoTrac Web: Health Reference Center-Academic. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2000. Jan. 2000.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that genetically modified crops are crops whose characteristics have been altered to produce favorable traits, such as prolonged freshness, an attractive appearance, or pesticide resistance.
  • Argues that the argument between the united states and the european union (eu) has dominated the controversy.
  • Argues that bio-engineering is a new and efficient way of increasing crop production without increasing costs, time, or labor.
  • Opines that the eu food safety rule may cost africa $700 million in trade.
  • Explains charles marwick's "thesis article." e-mail to kate pielemeier. "genetically modified crops feed ongoing controversy."
  • Explains that foods safe?" fda consumer. v34 i1 p.18. u.s. government printing office.
  • Argues that the united states is the leading producer, manufacturer, buyer, and seller of genetically modified (gm) foods.
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