The Effects of Genetic Engineering on Agriculture

1415 Words6 Pages
The Effects of Genetic Engineering on Agriculture Agribiotechnology is the study of making altered agricultural products. Agribusiness is trying to alter the genes of already existing products to try to enhance the biocompetitiveness and adaptability of crops by enhancing plant resistance to drought, salinity, disease, pests and herbicides. They are going to try to enhance their growth, productivity, nutrient value, and chemical composition. The old way of doing this was through selective breeding, special fertilizer, and hormones. This seems now somewhat outdated with today’s technology. Genetic engineering comes with many downfalls. Increased production through genetic engineering could exhaust nonrenewable resources more rapidly and fail to feed a larger and more dependent human population. In Africa, and South and Central America, super breeds of crops, irrigation and hydroelectric dams, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and agripoisons exported to less developed countries produced great short-term profits but destroyed already existing, more regenerative, traditional farming practices, ultimately destroying the communities and fragile land. Natural deserts, swamps and salt marshes need to be preserved to protect biodiversity and the integrity of the Earth’s ecology. Introducing genetically engineered organisms into the environment means that these areas could be invaded by these new species therefore furthering loss of natural ecosystems. A major concern of farmers and scientists regarding engineered crops is that they are afraid that these new plants which would be resistant to herbicides and other chemicals would breed with a nearby weedy relative and thus creating a superweed that would be resistant to herbicide... ... middle of paper ... ...use serious allergic reactions, and bacteria genetically engineered to produce large amounts of the food supplement, tryptophan, have been suspected to produce toxic contaminants that killed 37 people and permanently disabled 1,500 more. Genetically Engineered foods will also lead to and increase in pollution of food and water supply. More than 50% of the crops developed by biotechnology companies have been engineered to be resistant to herbicides. Use of herbicide-resistant crops will lead to a threefold increase in the use of herbicides, resulting in even greater pollution of our food and water with toxic agrochemicals. In my opinion, genetically modified organisms pose a serious risk to human health and to the environment. More research needs to be done to determine all the consequences of releasing genetically modified organisms into the natural environment.
Open Document