modified organisms are produced through genetic engineering and are defined as,
“living organisms (plants, animals, bacteria) into which foreign genes have
been inserted” (Feldmann et al.). Genetically modified organisms are sometimes
referred to as GMOs, Genetically Engineered Food (GEF), and Genetically
Modified Food (GMF). Although many aspects of the effects genetically modified
organisms have on the human body, if they are safe for human consumption, they
should continue to be utilized in our crops.
Genetic engineering can generate
plants that are more resistant to pests, have greater yields, and have a longer
shelf-life. These genetically altered foods sometimes have a better texture,
color, and flavor compared to those that are not genetically modified. Some
foods that commonly contain GMOs are corn, cotton, sugar, and soy. Corn, for
example, is one of the most commonly genetically engineered crop because it is
very susceptible to disease and requires many nutrients to grow. Without GMOs,
our corn crop would drastically decrease which would impact the United States
economically and cost many to forfeit corn from their everyday diets.
There are many advantages of
utilizing GMOs in our food. GMOs could be and agent used to feed those who may
not already have access. In general, the use of GMOs increases yields and
allows producers to lower the cost of their crop. Incorporating GMOs into crops
enables farmers to increase the yield their crops, lose fewer crops to pests
and diseases, and allow them to plant crops in areas that may not typically be
hospitable to grow specific crops. Food containing GMOs are also knows to have
a higher nutritional value than non-GMOs.
Many opposed to GMOs acknowledge their
advantages, but declare that the negative aspects of GMOs outweigh those
advantages. Those against incorporating GMOs in food propose ideas about the
influence that these GMOs have on a person’s health. Based on two reviews of
the safety of GMOs in crops, Dr. Philip Landrigan explains, “GM crops pose no
unique hazards to human health” (Landrigan and Benbrook). While researching
this topic, I came across a lot of websites such as caloriebee.com and www.organicauthority.com,
that are entirely biased against GMOs. These websites typically published
articles about GMOs by authors who do not have any credibility or expertise on
the subject, but create very persuasive arguments against GMOs. With articles
like these spread all over the internet, it is hard for consumers to get an
accurate understanding about GMOs to make an unbiased decision about the
produce they choose.
Before I started researching for
this paper, I was skeptical of the use of GMOs in our food because I had only
ever heard the negative aspects of GMOs. After researching this topic, I
learned many things about genetically modified organisms that surprised me.
Although there are some health-related aspects that still somewhat concern me, I
think that GMOs are a necessary agent that play a role in feeding our world. Without
further investigation into the effects that GMOs have on the human body, there
is no way to definitely decide if they should continue to be included into our
Like many other controversial
topics, the debate over GMOs will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
Although both sides of the controversy have valid points, I think that GMOs
play a crucial role in filling our grocery stores and ensuring that food is
more readily available around the world. As someone who intends to go into the
medical field, I believe it is important to understand what we are putting into
our bodies. GMOs are useful agriculturally and economically, but more
experiments and research need to be conducted to ensure that they are truly safe
for human consumption.