Genetically Modified Foods are ultimately necessary to supplement the current production of food throughout the planet, which can sustain an ever-increasing global population. In addition, it plays a role in protecting the environment by less use of herbicides and other pesticides. However, genetically modified foods (GMFs) comprise a contentious subject. In recent times, there have been increased calls for the termination of the production of GMFs. The supporters of this notion prevail that GMFs pose a health risk to its consumers among many other risks. Nonetheless, these assertions overlook the benefits that humanity stands to benefit from the increased production and consumption of GMFs.
Genetically modified foods refer to edible crops, animals, and microorganisms whose genetic material has been manipulated. Essentially, GMFs do not grow naturally. Instead, their development is influenced by constant alteration of genetic structures. The development of GMFs often follows the principles set forth by the discipline of biotechnology. The genetic manipulation process entails the selection of individual genes, which can be transferred onto another crop or organism to enhance their growth. Other than the need to supplement the production of food, GMFs project a variety of benefits to the global community. These benefits enhance the stability of the environment, health, and food production. The benefits, from the use of GMFs, can be divided into two segments. These benefits include those achieved from the production of the GMFs and the consumption benefits when people take the GMFs.
One of the most publicized arguments against the production of GMFs is that they lead to environmental degradation. According to the proponents of this notion, production of genetically modified food releases large amounts of chemicals in the environment. On the contrary, the production of genetically modified food often employs small amounts of chemicals. It requires little use of chemicals that may be detrimental to the environment. Chemicals pose a poignant threat to the sustenance of soil fertility. This allows the soil microorganisms to thrive. The soil microorganisms play an indispensable role in the Nitrogen cycle process. Alternatively, the chemicals used in the production of normal food products tend to emit hazardous gaseous chemicals into the air (Food Safety n.p.). This negatively affects the ozone layer and may result in climate changes that negatively affect crop production. Likewise, the production of GMFs enables the mitigation of soil salinity levels. High soil salinity levels with fertilizers may result in poor crops and ultimately poor yields. The production of GMFs positively influences soil salinity. The article “Should We Go and Eat Genetically-Modified Food?” indicates that the production of GMFs demands little inputs of chemicals. Therefore, GMFs have the potential to curb environmental pollution and soil erosion.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
In recent times, there have been assertions that reinforce the negative influences of GMF on the mutation of pests. However, in reality the production of GMFs results in increased pest and herbicide resistance. The artificial manipulation of genes entails the identification and engagement of only those genes that are resistant pests. To sustain this trait, genetically modified foods are often injected with toxic bacteria, which repel insects and pests (Food Safety n.p.). Many of the food crops grown naturally are often susceptible to infections from pests and other hazardous organisms. For instance, corn, which is a food crop, is subject to attacks from over three pest groups. Growth to maturity under such impediments comprises a major challenge. Resistance against pests is achieved through the introduction a gene to the subject food crop. The gene engaged results from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (Food Safety n.p.). The gene performs the role of toxin production in the bacteria. Its employment in the food crops does not pose any health risk to humans. Resistance to viruses is achieved through the introduction of gene strains from disease-causing viruses into the systems of the food crops. In this way, genetically modified foods can resist diseases caused by similar viruses. Likewise, resistance to herbicides is achieved through the introduction of a gene from bacteria that has previously projected resistance to similar herbicides. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Opponents of GMF prevail that natural food production process at present is enough to sustain humanity. However, increased famines and droughts negate the amount of food that is available to humanity. Consequently, the production of genetically modified foods results in increased yields. The global population trends project an increase and that requires food production to be increased. Each year, populations increase, as the birth rates are higher than death rates. These create a strain on the available food resources. Despite the increase in population, food production has remained relatively the same. It is projected with time the demand for food will outweigh the supply given the large population. Production of GMFs provides ways by which food production can be augmented. Chen and Tseng (147) prevail that food production will remain the same over the years. In exploring the immensity of GMFs in filling the shortage gap, the authors reinforce that “food supply will not change if the acreage cultivated as well as crop yields remain the same” (Chen and Tseng 147). Plantation acreages are no longer increasing. This a consequence of adverse global climate change. Therefore, GMFs present an opportunity through which the reduced production can be mitigated. In 2003, the global production of genetically modified Soya Beans occupied an acreage of 41.4 million hectares which is representative of 61% of acreage occupied genetically modified crops (Chen & Tseng 147). GMFs give farmers the ability to reap increased harvests, and that presents a potential solution to the current global food crisis.
Economic and Affordable
The production of genetically modified foods provides an avenue through which food production costs can be controlled. Furthermore, given the relatively low costs that are involved in large-scale production of the GMFs, they project affordability. Gene modification increases the resistance of the GMFs to pests. This enhances their ability to thrive in adverse environments and climates. Therefore, it allows for the securing of increased yields (Chen & Tseng 147). The law of demand prevails that an increased supply of a product serves to reduce the price of the product in the market. Consequently, given that there will be an increased availability of food, people will be able to acquire the required nutrients at a reduced cost. Currently, there are more than one million globally who suffer hunger. They have no access to balanced diet and thus suffer malnutrition. This can be pre-empted through GMFs. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Nutrients and Quality
Reinforcements of poor quality comprise some of the leading arguments against GMFs. Proponents of these assertions prevail that GMFs pose a health risk to consumers. However, the production of GMFs entails the incorporation of genes that reinforce quality. Genetically modified foods have more nutrients compared to naturally grown food. This is because the genes are picked because of a specific quality. Genetically modified food has been engineered in ways, which promote the nutritious value and mineral content (Lim n.p.). For instance, specific genes can be used to influence the levels of vitamin A in rice. Likewise, other genes can be employed to reduce the fat content that is present in beef. This enables the pre-emption of malnutrition, which is prevalent in third world countries. Increased pest resistance results in the production of quality food. Genetically modified food has more flavor and texture. The beef that is inspired by genes tends to have a less fat content and an increasingly better taste
Genetically modified food has the potential to improve the global production of food. This will serve to mitigate hunger cases around the world. GMFs further presents an opportunity through which better crops and animals can be reared. The sustainability of the next generations will depend largely on the availability of resources. As more people are born into the world, GMFs will allow continued prosperity of humanity.
Chen, Chi-Chung and Wei-Chun Tseng. “Do Humans Need GMOs? A view from a Global Trade Market.” Journal of American Academy of Business 8.1 (2011): 147.
Lim, Jillian Rose. “Should We Go and Eat Genetically-Modified Food? .” 12 May 2014. Men’s Journal. 22 September 2016.
World Health Organization. Food Safety. 2016. Web. 22 September 2016.