Is GMO Harmful or Beneficial to Us?

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Genetic engineering technology is the core of modern biotechnology. Since the birth of the first transgenic plant in the 1980s, genetic engineering has been rapidly and widely developed and applied in various fields. At the same time, genetic engineering has brought profound revolution to the field of food.

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Genetically modified food refers to the introduction and expression of exogenous genes into target organisms through gene recombination technology. The food produced in this way, including agricultural products and food additives, is collectively referred to as genetically modified food. The advantage of GMO is that it makes our life more convenient. At present, many people have questioned the toxicity of genetically modified foods, the problem of allergic reactions, nutritional problems, resistance to antibiotics, and environmental threats. Objectively speaking, every new thing has its growth process. We should treat it objectively and critically. In my opinion, we should look at genetically modified food scientifically, instead of just refusing it.

GM foods can be broadly divided into three categories :(1) Gm plant foods. Such as genetically modified corn and soybean are more kinds of genetically modified food, mainly for improving the nutrition, anti-insect, anti-virus, anti-herbicide and anti-adversity survival of food, reducing the production cost and increasing quality of crops, and improving the yield per unit area. (2)Genetically modified animal food. Transgenic fish and meat, for example, it is mainly used for by introducing proper exogenous genes and modify its own to “ reduce the degree of crosslinking of connective tissue” in order to improve the meat of animals and get a good flavor and nutritional value which meet the needs of the consumers.(3) genetically modified microbial food. For example, through genetic modification of the preparation of microbial fermentation, wine, beer, soy sauce, this kind of food is produced by the use of genetically modified organisms. Though there are always people spread the idea that GMO is toxic but So far, there is no evidence can prove that genetically modified food will affect people’s health on short term at least. It will only affect oral argument. From 1998 to 2009 there was negative news about gm food. From the “approval in the United States of “”star alliance”” genetically modified corn for animal feeding”, to the “proliferation of weeds around genetically modified rape in Canada”, to the “contamination of other species’ genes by genetically modified corn in Mexico”, more and more facts have shown that the safety of genetically modified food deserves everyone’s attention. The organization for economic cooperation, the world health organization, and World food and agriculture organization (FAO),and other international authority said that the transgenic species may set a biological cause “”unintended consequences””, it is this “”unintended consequences”” instructions for the safety of this product is not decided yet, international consumer association also suggests that “”so far there is no evidence that genetically modified food is harmful or safe. There are indeed reports of GM food hazards, which are not repeated in this article. We only analyze the advantages of genetically modified foods.

Genetically modified food brings us benefits indeed.

  1. Increase crop yield, solve the problem of food shortages, reduce environmental pollution.
  2. One of reason the crops failed is Salt, drought, pests and diseases, which is also responsible for yield production. Nowadays, scientists combine a variety of anti insect, drought and salt tolerance genes into crops by the development of genetic and DNA technology.

    By getting excellent properties of the new strain of genetically modified (gm), it greatly reduces the production cost and increases the production at the same time. Many scientists expected to use genetic modified to solve the problem of food shortages all around the world with the booming of population. At the same time, the environmental pollution due to pesticide or fertilizer can be reduced hugely by the application of transgenic technology such as hybrid rice.

  3. Extend the life of fruit and vegetable products.
  4. Traditional vegetable and fruit preservation techniques, such as refrigeration, coatings, preservation, storage costs with severe defects, time, and freshness preservation, often result in softening, over-ripening, decay, and deterioration, causing heavy losses. The direct production of shelf-stable fruits and vegetables has become a reality through genetic engineering techniques. For example, adding an anti-freeze gene for marine fish grown in the Arctic to an ordinary eggplant will allow it to be stored longer in the winter and greatly extend the shelf life. At present, commercial and transgenic tomato storage has been produced at home and abroad. Related research has been extended to strawberries, bananas, mangoes, peaches, and watermelons.

  5. Improve the taste and quality of food.
  6. In order to change the taste and extend the shelf life of the food, food company may add additives illegally to make sure the food “looks good”. However, additives and preservatives sometimes contain harmful ingredients which most of the leads to cancer. Genetic modified food can solve the problems better. The taste of food, nutrition and bactericidal properties change or transfer some of the characteristics of certain genes. Take milk as an example, gene replacement technology can change the specific the composition of milk and increase milk production.

    Furthermore, in order to provide plants food for some animal nutrition and taste, scientists also transfer animal genes to these plants which give them some special characteristics. Thus, Transgenic technology could improve the quality of the animal food and give human a new aspects of knowing things. And att present, the transgenic fish, chicken and pig research have made great success.

  7. Use genetically modified technology to produce foods that are good for health and disease resistance.
  8. The newly developed genetically modified rice from European scientists is found to be rich in vitamin A and iron, which helps to reduce iron deficiency anemia and vitamin A. Incidence rate. And another Japanese scientists have successfully cultivated new rice that can lower serum cholesterol levels, reduce the possibility of arteriosclerosis by using genetically modified technology.

In conclusion, GMO bring us lots of benefits. Without this benefit, we cannot imagine how will the world be. There is indeed some negative news about genetically modified foods. But this does not justify our refusal to use GM food. Everyone has their own right to choose. In Africa, people often try their best to supply food, and genetically modified foods can greatly increase the production of food and allow more people to live. Since humans can develop genetically modified foods, it is believed that humans can gradually discover the potential dangers of genetically modified foods in the future, modify and improve these shortcomings, and make them safer and healthier. People should take a scientific view of genetically modified foods, maintain an optimistic attitude towards genetically modified foods, and conduct in-depth research on genetically modified foods. This will allow genetic technology to perform its best.

References:

Feuillet, Catherine. “Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.

Huso, et al. “IMPACTS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED (GM) TRAITS ON CONVENTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES.” AgEcon Search, ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/23491?ln=en.

Bredahl, L. Journal of Consumer Policy (2001) 24: 23. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010950406128

Suzie Key, Julian K-C Ma, and Pascal MW Drake, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Vol 101, Issue 6, pp. 290 – 29, June 2008, https://doi.org/10.1258%2Fjrsm.2008.070372

Charu Verma, Surabhi Nanda, R. K. Singh, R. B. Singh, Sanjay Mishra. A Review on Impacts of Genetically Modified Food on Human Health. The open nutraceutical journals, 2011, 4: 3-11,https://benthamopen.com/TONUTRAJ/home/

Maclean, Norman (2003) Genetically modified fish and their effects on food quality and human health and nutrition. Trends in Food Science & Technology, April 2003

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