Should we genetically modify our food?

Corn. Milk. Zucchini. Potatoes. Rice. Whenever you eat these foods, you are not eating them in their natural form as these are some of the most often genetically modified foods. In fact, chances are, most of the food you ate today was genetically modified. GMOs can help crops grow and also boost a consumer’s health, but they also have negative consequences.

 

GMOs have benefits including increasing insect resistance, protecting the environment, increasing general crop yield, and providing more nutritious foods at times. Instead of using pesticide chemicals, which are harmful to the environment, the seeds of the crops can be engineered to have certain bacterium to repel insects. Refraining from the use of chemicals on fields of crops allows for better water and air quality in the surrounding area. In addition, food can also be genetically modified to contain more minerals or vitamins than it naturally would. This not only boosts the health of healthy individuals, but can remedy problems of malnutrition. For example, rice enhanced with more vitamin A helps those who suffer from vitamin A deficiencies.

 

However, GMOs also have drawbacks such as decreasing the effectiveness of antibiotic and gene transfer into the environment. Genetically modified foods can have antibiotic features planted in them to resist certain diseases or viruses. When someone eats these foods, the added features cause antibiotic medications to be less impactful. As more food is genetically modified and more people are eating these foods, the efficacy of antibiotics could drastically decrease around the world. In addition, the modified genes in GMO foods can escape into the surrounding environment. For example, commercial crops can impact wild weeds, creating weeds that are immune to herbicides, and will therefore ruin crops. In addition, when enhanced animals and plants are created, they can disrupt the natural cycle of populations in that ecosystem, causing some species to go extinct. So what do you think, should we continue to genetically modify more and more food?

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