Genetically Modified Foods - Good Or Bad?

What are Genetically Modified Crops?

Genetic engineering is the modification of an organism’s hereditary material so as to produce tailored traits in it. Since food items can also obtained from organisms, scientists have managed to employ genetic engineering, particularly in crops to incorporate desired qualities in them.

For example, a particular species of tomato plants may be producing large tomatoes but might be susceptible to parasites. So, in order to achieve the desired quality (defense against parasites), genes from another plant may be extracted and transferred.

The Pros

There are numerous advantages of growing genetically modified crops as opposed to the ones being regularly produced. The most common pro is that genetically engineered crops produce double the yield. As their genetic material has been altered, their productivity is greatly enhanced. In addition to that, continual research in this field has led to the production of insect and pest resistant seed variety. This automatically decreases the use of pesticides which, in turn, contributes to increased safety of farmers as well as consumers. Similarly, some disease resistant seed varieties have also been developed. Again, this factor contributes to greater output as the crops are not affected by diseases.

Furthermore, genetically modified food is cheaper than the traditional varieties. This means that problems like starvation and malnutrition can easily be combated through genetically engineered crops.

Cons Of Genetically Modified Food

Even though genetic engineers and practicing botanists keep stating the long lists of benefits provided by genetically modified crops, however, it is important to assess the cons as well. Many biologists believe that altering the genetic material of organisms is not an advisable endeavor. According to them, tinkering with the genetic material of crops can seriously affect the world food supplies.

In accordance with the view of biologists who are against genetic modification, the long term effects produced by this process are still somewhat unknown. Although no medical harms have been found yet, harmful impacts may be produced in the future.

People still have some reservations for genetically modified food. This is based on the lack of any proper information currently available. Many countries in Africa facing food shortage refuse to import genetically modified food even though it is less costly.

Therefore, genetically modified food offers arrange of benefits despite the fact that there are a number of concerns that currently limit its use in an almost majority of the world’s population.