GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism(s). These could be plants or animals, any living organism, that has undergone a process where scientists or farmers alter its genes using DNA from another organism, most likely from a different species. This is used in order to get desired and preferable traits that improve efficiency, such as tolerance of pesticides, increased yield, or resistance to certain diseases. When performed correctly, this process can be very successful. Instead of feeding 5,000 people, a farmer can feed 10,000 people using GMOs. Results can be substantial. However, there are many issues that critics of GMOs propose. We will talk about these issues later in this article. To view GMO statistics, please scroll down to the second half of this page!
Today, GMOs are utilized with extreme frequency. You probably at a GMO product today without even realizing it! About eighty-five percent of corn and over ninety percent of soybeans and cotton grown in the United States are genetically modified. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of approving the very first genetically engineered fish – the salmon. It has been engineered to be more disease resistant, grow faster, and develop greater tolerance to temperature. Who knows what else could be genetically engineered in the future, the possibilities are endless. The technological advancements in the past decade have allowed so much to happen, and advancements will continue to be made.It is important that we are cautious with how we utilize these advancements in the long run.
Genetically engineering plants and animals can eventually help alleviate one of the world’s biggest problems – World Hunger. With Earth’s growing population, there are more and more mouths to feed. We need to find more efficient ways in order to provide food for this fast growing population and to make this food available and accessible to all, not just to some parts of the world. GMOs can help solve this problem.
However, there are many critics of GMOs that question the morality and the ethical values behind this process. This is because there has not been enough research done on the effect of ingesting genetically engineered foods. There may be some severe or minor side effects that we currently are unaware about. Furthermore, critics claim that GM crops harm that environment around them. They reduce biodiversity and pollute water resources all over. Many claim they are also unsustainable.
If you are interested to read more about the GMO controversy and debate, you can view the page about that under GMO info on the menu bar.
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The controversy over the safety of GMOs is a very interesting topic to read about as both sides have essential and valid arguments to propel their points. As you learn more about GMOs and their benefits and harms, it is important also to look at GMO statistics and numbers that provide empirical evidence. This page is dedicated for graphs and statistics. As the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words. After viewing the following images, let us know what you think in the “comments” section! Being familiar with GMO statistics is vital to an overall understanding of the tense debate.
On the graph below, the yellow line indicates when GMOs were first introduced to the public. This is a very powerful image and substantiates the critics’ claims about the health risks posed by GMOs.
The graph below illustrates GM planting in industrial countries compared to GM planting in developing countries. Total GM planting is also shown on the graph. You might be surprised to see that developing countries now utilize GMOs more than industrial countries. One main reason for this is that in many industrial countries, people are beginning to approach GMOs cautiously do to the health risks the pose. Many of these people only consume non-genetically engineered products, which cost more. Developing countries do not always have this luxury.
After viewing these powerful images and learning about GMOs, you probably have a solid understanding about GMOs and the debate over them. continue browsing through the articles to learn more about the debate, and finally form your own opinion about GMOs and their use in society today!