In the world today people have mixed reactions about GMOs. While others think that they are harmful, others think otherwise. There is, however, no proof that has been done scientifically to prove that GMOs are harmful. GMOs are foods that have been derived from alteration of genes by the scientists to get foods or organisms that are resilient to organisms. In the past, food and drug administration have cited that the genetically modified foods are not dangerous. However in the year 2000, a product that was not fit for consumption was assimilated into the food market. After being pulled from the market, it raised eyebrows on how safe the GMOs are. It is the right of each consumer to make choices on the GMOs and to know the companies that produce them as well as how they are produced (Lipton, 101).
Though the nutrition content of an organism can be increased, there several risks that have been associated with GMOs. Firstly, a report done by an academy showed that there were health risks involved with the GMOs. The argument is that process of GM damages the plant causing side effects in the human body. Such risks include infertility, changes in the immune system and changes in the human organs among others. The risks come about from the processes involved in the science underlying the engineering of GMOs. Genetically modified foods can cause environmental hazards, health risks as well as economic risks. Since the introduction of GMOs in 1996, health risks have increased. For example in America, chronic diseases have risen by 6% in a span of fewer than ten years.
Allergies caused by foods, problems with the digestive system, reproductive problems and autism among others have been on the rise. Though there is no sufficient research to support the fact that GMOs are the contributing factors, doctors warn citizens not to wait before they start taking precautions (Lipton, 22). Studies were done; show how materials are left in the human body by GMOs causing problems that are long-term. An example is the transfer of soy genes to the DNA of bacteria in the human body and the harmful insecticide that was found from the blood of a pregnant woman after consuming corn.
The cross-pollination has also been a menace to farmers who strive daily to keep their produce pure. This, also, threatens the health of generations in the future. In the process of contamination, it has also led to the economic downfall for farmers who want to keep their produce pure. GMOs also require the use of herbicides that are strong to eliminate killer weeds. This has in turn caused environmental pollution that is associated with effects such as sterility, cancer as well as disruption of hormones in the human body (Mckay, 22). A research done independently by UCSF showed that there were pesticide residuals in the blood of pregnant women who have consumed GMOs. The worrying thing was that most of the pesticides quoted in the report were of those banned in America in 1972.
Though supporters of GMOs believe that they are nutritious and that the nutrition content is high, it has been proven that no such products exist in the market (Mckay, 48). For example, the GM soy has a 12.14% lower rate of isoflavones that fight cancer as compared to the pure soy. Secondly, rice that was grown under the modified conditions had lesser nutritional values even after being grown side by side with the pure rice. The rice had lower levels of fatty acids, vitamins, proteins and amino acids. Lastly, Canola that was engineered to contain vitamin had lower contents of vitamin E. The fat composition was also low in comparison to the pure Canola. These examples show that content of GMOs is not always achieved as required by the engineers. Instead of adding more, other nutrients are lost in the process.
To conclude, there are other better ways of adding nutrients to foods without necessarily using plant breeding. An example of such is rice fortified with vitamins. It has been reported that such rice is beneficial for children with lower anemia levels. Most supports claim that GMOs are created to curb the hunger menace but to the contrary. Most people lack enough money to buy food. Lack of accessible land to till is also a contributing factor to the lack of adequate food. Using GMOs as a contributing factor is distracting the real issue causing the low quantities of food in the market ( Roberts, 77). It is also important to note that focusing on only on a crop that gives one or two nutrients does not help the malnourished people. This is because these people suffer or lack more than one nutrient in their bodies. It is also scientifically proven that for some vitamins are absorbed in the body; another nutrient is required in the body. For example, for vitamin A to be absorbed, the body needs plenty of fats.
Lipton, M. Reviving Global Poverty Reduction: What Role for Genetically Modified Plants?Washington: CGIAR, 1999. Print.
Mckay, R W. K, and Michele Veeman. A Survey of Literature on Genetically Modified Crops: Economics, Ethics and Society. Edmonton [Alta.: Dept. of Rural Economy, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, 2007. Internet resource.
Roberts, Mere. Indigenous Knowledge & Western Science: Perspectives from the Pacific. Auckland, N.Z.: Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland, 1998. Print.
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