Genetically engineered crops produce too many benefits and are too useful to society today and in the future to be reconsidered based on insignificant and petty rationale. Utilizing GE crops will make food easier to cultivate and more accessible – the formula for ending world hunger. Obviously, ending a problem as big and complicated as world hunger will take decades, but genetically engineering crops has shown the potential to have a big effect on this problem in the future. This is a huge opportunity that we as a society must learn to accept and utilize, for the good of our world.
Critics have many claims that GMOs create concerning health problems and are dangerous to ingest. They bring up several trivial cases such as a few studies on animals that have been done. these studies supposedly illustrate organ damage, disorders in the immune and gastrointestinal system, infertility in some rare cases, and aging faster.
When these facts are brought up, however, only a couple cases are put forward to illustrate. There are too few cases to generalize the claim. The population of people that ingest genetically engineered foods is enormous, and of those, the ones that develop health issues are a very small, insignificant percentage. After statistical analysis is done on these values, it is clear that there is not enough evidence to attribute the various health issues to GMOs. Instead, they are simply due to random chance.
Another claim made by critics is that GM foods may leave certain, unhealthy material inside our body which can in turn cause problems in the long run. This argument lacks validity since this so-called “unhealthy material” are merely genes from other species. Take this for example. The gene from a chicken is inserted into corn to improve the growing efficiency of the corn. It is true that foreign genes have been inserted, but these foreign genes are of no risk whatsoever to human health. Humans eat both corn and chicken, and mixing the genes provides no additional risk. This argument against GMOs is invalid and based on the fallacious assumption that when genes are transferred, their content somehow changes.
Furthermore, while many critics claim to the contrary, GMOs do indeed increase yields, providing for an increasingly hungry and growing population. They allow for more efficient usage of the land, water, and other natural resources that are growing increasingly scarce. To delineate, the production of food uses a lot of arable land and natural resources. It is estimated that by the year 2050, the world population will eclipse nine billion. Also the amount of arable land is expected to decrease as a result of increased urbanization and as an externality of climate change. For any long term plan dealing with life on earth, conserving land to produce food is crucial as the exponential growth trend of world population shows no signs of slowing down.
It is also important to note that Genetically engineered organisms greatly minimize the use of synthetic chemical pesticides which are detrimental to the environment. With climate change producing harmful impacts on the world, we are in dire need of methods that allow for conserving the environment. The use of GMOs is a great start.
Only a few of the numerous benefits of GMOs have been mentioned. For a complete list, please visit the page titled “Advantages of GMOs.”
It is evident that biotechnology may prove to be very important to us in the future. It has the potential to bring about drastic changes that bring improvements to everyone’s standard of living. However, it is also important to note that utilizing GMOs, although very beneficial, does come with its share of flaws. Therefore, although we, along with many other credited organizations and scientists worldwide, promote the usage of GMOs, we also caution against the possible adverse outcomes these GMOs bring to the table.
Our final note – GMOs are great. As a society, we must learn to utilize them more and more. We also must continue doing research as we are still unsure about many of the possible affects these foods bring. We proceed with caution and hope for the best. Biotechnology may end up drastically changing the world as we know it.