18+ Pros and Cons of GMO (Explained)

GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory using genetic engineering. This process builds the combinations of bacteria, plants, animals, and some virus genes that do not occur naturally by the traditional crossbreeding methods.

Many GMOs have been engineered to withstand the direct application of herbicide for producing an insecticide. In addition, many new technologies are being used in the present day to artificially develop other traits in the plants, like resistance to browning in apples, etc.

Pros of GMOs:

Desirable traits:

Artificial techniques can be used for various genetic modifications to give foods the desirable traits. For example, they have designed two new varieties of apples that turn less brown when cut or bruised. Genetic mutation makes the crops more resistant to various diseases as they grow up. Manufacturers also engineer produce to be more nutritious or tolerant of herbicides.

Designer crops:

GMO practices can produce various “designer” crops, which have more nutrients and grow more quickly. In addition, genetically modified crops also tend to produce more yield, are more resistant to pesticides, and use less fertilizer.

Save time on research:

Artificially implanting DNA from one species to another can save many years of research. Waiting for the unpredictable nature of traditional breeding methods can take decades to achieve the required equilibrium; such a goal can be reached immediately with GMOs.

Animal cells can be manipulated:

GMO experimentation can manipulate animal (and, theoretically, human) cells to be healthier or desirable. For example, the article, Scientists One Step Closer to Male Contraceptive Pill, talks about how genetically-modified mice are helping to research possible male contraception.

GMOs advance the quality of grown food:

Genetically modified foodstuffs can be changed and altered to have a longer-lasting life with the aim of limiting the wastage of food. This can also be done using creating stronger colors, eliminating the seeds, or having plants get more and more adjusted to the harsh climatic conditions. A lot of foodstuffs out there that have been advanced tend to have better nutrient percentages, such as protein and calcium.

GMOs can be transported to inaccessible regions of the world:

Currently, the world’s food production is nearly 17% more than the population requires. The problem is how food can be dispensed to the countryside, where individuals have small quantities of food. The time it takes to reach such areas is sufficient for it to get ruined before consumption.

Therefore, they tend to GMOs lengthen the natural life of the foodstuff and its resilience, permitting them to be transported to longer distances without any wastage or going rancid to communities that need them.

Chemical usage on GMO crops is lesser compared to other crops:

Based on a study conducted by PG Economics to measure the number of pesticides on cotton that had been genetically modified, it was found that there had been a 6% decline in the number of herbicides used as compared to those that had not been changed. And the lesser chemicals are used, the more beneficial they are for human health.

Cons of GMOs:

In the United States, the FDA does not need GMO labeling:

The ingredients of GMOs can be put into food products, and U.S. shoppers would not even get to know it. There is presently no national-level labeling need for foods with GMO ingredients. Some states have also looked at creating labeling laws to need GMO information.

But for most parts, only non-GMO food items tend to be labeled right now. The Non-GMO Project reports that about 64 countries in the world, including the entirety of the European Union, Japan, and Australia, need labeling.

Most core foods have some level of genetic modification:

Commercialized crops include some cotton, corn, and soybeans. More than 90% of these crops are being grown today and have some genetic modification in them. Even the sugar beets, grown at commercial levels, are more than 90% GMO. Any of the products derived from these core foods still contain the genetic modification from the core ingredient used to make these items.

There may be an increased risk of allergies or food intolerance.

Animal testing is highly controversial, but it should be noted that GMO foods studied in animals have found organ impacts in virtually every circumstance. In humans, there may be some increased trends of food allergies and some digestive intolerance. This is because of genetic modification. When plants produce pesticides inside plants to kill insects, by basic definition, that plant is toxic.

GMO crops may contaminate other fields.

The crops can be genetically modified but still grow the same way as any other crops in the field. That means that pollination is required for those crops to produce the “fruit” being grown. Bees do much of this pollination work. This means that they are exposed to the genetic alteration of the plants.

Seeds are produced by GMO crops as well in many instances. This can be spread to other fields and hence will contaminate them. If cross-pollination occurs, there is no predictable outcome for both areas.

Animal proteins could be affected by GMO crops.

The vast majority of the core crops in America are GMO crops. These crops are fed to livestock, aquaculture, and apiculture, impacting groceries based on animal proteins.

GMO ingredients are present in milk, eggs, seafood, and animal muscle tissues. Even honey can have GMO ingredients when bees pollinate genetically modified crops to produce it.

Many GMO crops are trademarked, patented, and legally protected.

Farmers that cultivate GMO crops might need to sign an agreement to grow a specific product exclusively. They may also be asked to take steps that protect the crops from contamination. Farmers that do not follow these steps can be taken to court for breaching that contract.

It encourages the use of additional herbicides.

Most GMO crops out there grown around the world are produced to be tolerant of herbicides. Farmers have increased the number of toxic herbicides due to this by a considerable amount since the first GMO crops were introduced. One of those most common herbicides is glyphosate; the WHO has listed it since the year 2015 as being a probable carcinogenic.

The pros and cons of GMOs are a must needed conversation that we must have. At some point, we must figure out how to feed our growing population. New farming methods only create a limithowount of change. But with this technology, we can maximize our resources, but creating health problems for future generations may not be the right thing either. So, people should work on it to prevent resistance instead of encouraging it.

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