Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

All about GMO food

Have you ever seen the label “No GMOs” 0n the food products that you buy from the supermarket? What are GMOs and is the consumption of GMO products bad for you? This is a topic that have sparked lot of controversy over the years. Lets dig into more details.

What are GMOs?

A GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is a result of a laboratory process  where genes from the DNA of one species are artificially transferred into another unrelated plant or animal. Even though GMOs have been able to provide solutions to many problems in the food industry some people oppose the idea of genetically modified food.

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What are the pros and cons of GMO food controversy?

Every living thing has genetic instructions in their DNA which tells the organism how to replicate. If you change those genes or spice them with new ones, different traits can be expressed. For example adding fish genes to tomatoes which will make the plant more tolerant to cold.

And others have added genes to make drought tolerant or pest resistant plants. Because farmers livelihood is so susceptible to weather changes many use GMOs to secure reliable crop yield and profits year over year.

Why do so many people oppose GMOs?

This is due to the health and environmental concerns.

Environmental concerns

According to the World health organization (WHO), there is a risk of transfer of engineered genes from genetically modified crops to wild crops.

But GMOs do have some environmental benefits too. Less chemicals, time, machinery and land are needed for GMO crops and animals. This can help to reduce environmental pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and also soil erosion.

Health concerns

People worry that there is not enough research on GMOs and don’t know the long term consequences of modifying the DNA of our food. Others worry about the unnatural mixing of the genes of different species.

There are plenty of reports out there that don’t find GMOs harmful. One study compared animals that were fed normal or GMOs over the course of almost 20 years and found that there was virtually no difference. Even some of the most well-known scientist like Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye has come out in support of GMOs. By now 88% of scientists agree that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to GMOs.

Something to think about.

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The fact is plants and animals have been genetically modified through human selection for thousands of years and that’s why we have domesticated farm animals and high yield crops like wheat.

The biggest fear is now that the process of genetic modification is evolving so quickly researchers don’t have time to study the long term effects. But besides the fear of trusting cooperation’s safety and quality of our food at a genetic level, the argument against GMOs become weak.

I believe that more time and money should be allocated for research related to GMOs as they can be the solution in situations like a long term food crisis.GMO food has the potential to save 688 000 kids under the age of  five that die every year from vitamin A deficiency by inserting vitamin A into rice. Modified plants can  even make echo friendly pesticides and lifesaving drugs. Because of this GMOs are something that you cannot just simply say no to.

References

“Genetically Modified Organisms (Gmos) | Learn Science At Scitable”. Nature.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

“GMO Food Pros And Cons”. Newsmax. N.p., 2015. Web. 8 May 2016.

“The Dangers Of Gmos: Know The Environmental Hazards”. NaturalNews. N.p., 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

How To Tell The Difference Between Organic, Conventional, And GMO Food – See More At: Http://Lifehealthandbeauty.Com/How-To-Tell-The-Difference-Between-Organic-Conventional-And-Gmo-Food/#Sthash.Hebou0qc.Dpuf. 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

The Low Down On Genetically Modified Foods. 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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