Why is GMO necessary?
GMO food is one of the most
controversial issues and yet an important topic today. Many people commonly
have negative perception and concerns about the safety and the idea of GMO.
First, looking into what is GMO. GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), is a
plant, animal, micro-organism or other organisms whose genetic makeup that is
modified using genetic engineering Technology (“What Is GMO?”). The purpose of
GMO is to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to pests or
improved nutritional content. It is developed with beneficial traits which help
them to thrive in their environment. An author of a published book Halford says, “The first traits to come on to
the market in the major commodity crops were herbicide tolerance and insect
resistance, and these remain by far the most successful traits that have been
introduced into crop plants by GM.” from “GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS” (Halford
55). As he said, GMO has a good purpose in helping both consumers and farmers
to combine the good merits of GMO grains with genetic recombination and
So should GMO be banned? The most
controversial issue is concern about the safety of GMO and the possibility of
causing unclear diseases in the future. However, GMO is actually
not harmful. As a matter of fact, not only it
is harmless, but also it has many useful benefits towards human society. In
addition, it can contribute many different problems for the society such as
food shortage. Besides, it can be produced at a relatively low cost and enables
efficient grain production. For these reasons, GMO should not be prohibited.
People need to realize the importance of GMO and change their negative
perception. GMO needs to be invested more in research and development.
From the perspective of the
opponents looking at GMO food, a scholarly journal quoted that “the composition
of the original organism does change causing harmful side effects and producing
harmful toxins that could cause allergies, stomach issues, disease and other
adverse effects.” (Nodoushani). Like it says, opponents against GMO argue that
GMO could possibly cause genetic diseases and harmful toxins because it
undergoes a process of genetic recombination. However, GMO is misinformed that
is harmful to people and it can affect the human body in a bad way. It is one
of the most misleading facts of GMO. An extensive study by the National Academies
of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine confirmed the safety of GMO:
The committee carefully searched all
available research studies for persuasive evidence of adverse health effects
directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from GE crops but found
none. Studies with animals and research on the chemical composition of GE foods
currently on the market reveal no differences that would implicate a higher
risk to human health and safety than from eating
their non-GE counterparts. Though long-term
epidemiological studies have not directly addressed GE food consumption,
available epidemiological data do not
show associations between any
disease or chronic conditions and the consumption of GE foods.
(“Distinction between Genetic Engineering…”)
As the research shown above, we can see that GMO has no
impact on human health. In addition, GMO has undergone a thorough inspection
process to ensure its safety. Since GMO can cause genetic deformations and
problems, it can only be used after a thorough approach and various tests that
have been proven its stability. Therefore, it can be said that the safety is
GMO is more than just food. It can be studied and developed for medical
purpose to prevent and treat certain diseases. GM microbes, plants, and animals
also revolutionized the production of complex pharmaceuticals by enabling the
generation of safer and cheaper vaccines and therapeutics. Currently, many
studies are in progress and GMOs will be used for a medical purpose in the
future (Julia). Moreover, GMO crops contain more nutrients, more abundant, and
healthier than ordinary crops. This can make consumers to consume a richer
combination of nutrients. For example, varieties of vitamins that have been
processed through GMO can become good benefits for health.
GMO is naturally designed to be immune to pests, reducing the use of
pesticides. This advantage enables
farmers to save the huge amount of money which is used for pesticides.
statistical data supports the evidence. “Crop biotechnology
has reduced pesticide spraying (1996-2012) by 503 million kg
(-8.8%).” Also, it brings plenty of economic
profits. “Farmers who use improved seeds and grow biotech crops have seen
substantial net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $18.8 billion
in 2012 and $116.6 billion for the 17 years
(1996-2012) period.” So the use of GMO brings economic
benefits to farmers. (“GM Crops Increase Farmer Profits…”)
One of the most important features of GMO is its strong adaptability to
any harsh environment and its rapid growth rate, thus achieving efficient grain
production and maximizing crop yields. Also, GMO can be produced at a low cost
compared to regular crops. (Varzakas, “The Politics and Science Behind GMO
Acceptance.”). With this advantage, GMO can be a
good solution for countries facing food shortage problem which can save many
amounts of people that are dying from hunger.
All things considered, GMO is not
harmful to health and does not cause any serious illness, as is the concern of
people. Evidence from numerous research and data support this statement.
Rather, GMO is healthy. It is richer in nutrition than ordinary grains, so
consumers will be able to consume rich and variety of good nutrients from GMOs.
GMO is designed to be pest-resistant and grow in harsh environments by genetic
manipulation which effectively increases food production. With these
advantages, farmers can save the enormous amount of cost spending on
pesticides. And also, GMO can be a good solution for countries that are lacking
food supplies through the efficiency of crop production and maximizing
production. So it can be concluded that GMO is essential and necessary towards human
society such as having potential
in various fields including medical area.
Therefore, GMO should not be
prohibited and people should realize the importance of it.