Is GMO actually good or bad?

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GMO fruits, vegetables, and different kinds of wheat have the potential to make agriculture more sustainable while improving the nutritional content of foods. However, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of GMO food, not to mention the technology is making farmers exposed to large corporations. Let’s take a look at the positive and negative effects of GMO production.

What is GMO anyway and why do we have doubts about it?

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The DNA strands are exploited in a bacterium and inserted into the seed of the host plant by using a virus. It sounds bad, but really it means that scientists can transfer genes directly between different species, and edit the genome itself.

Thus, there are two reasons to be cautious about GMOs: implementation and efficacy.

Regarding implementation, a significant part of GMO plants is produced and consumed in the US today by Monsanto Group. Their product, Roundup Ready makes crops resistant against a particular herbicide. Roundup Ready plants grow from seeds that have been genetically modified to grow even when glyphosate weed killer is applied to them.

However Roundup hasn’t been tested as toxic to animals and humans, apparently, it has an effect on soil and long-term plant fecundity. Plants treated by Roundup Ready do not make it possible for animals to absorb needful micronutrients from them, and may also play a role in the recent death of bees.

Also, crops resistant to insects and diseases could increase pests to evolve around these defenses becoming stronger.

Besides biological concerns, the economic ones are well known: these GMO companies are also a huge threat to farmers. Why? The GMO technology makes it impossible for farmers to re-plant seeds gathered from their crops to harvest the following year. This forces farmers to rely on commercial seed suppliers, giving these companies a lot of control over the farmer’s access to GE technologies.

Why are GMOs good then?

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An article writes about the greatest drought in California since the 1500s, besides that there is no doubt that climate change makes natural crop cultivation hard, so agricultural technology should increase the resiliency of our food crops, rather than maximize production capacity. GMOs can be a necessary alternative.

Monsanto had launched a drought-resistant corn product to the market, however, a scientific study showed that maybe it is not so effective. But it is undeniable that with this technology, scientists can create crops that are higher-yielding, more nutritious, and also can be more resilient against heat, drought, and bad soil types. Increasing yields not only improves food security but also increases farmers’ incomes.

They can also add genes that increase shelf life, thus reducing food waste. Including genes of essential nutrients into staple foods can reduce malnutrition and improve human health.

To sum up, the current implementation of GMOs is not very sustainable, but considering the future’s increasing global problems, it could be the only solution against malnutrition and lack of food resources.


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