Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are animals, plants, microorganisms or other organisms whose genetic makeup have undergone modification using a recombinant DNA method for gene splicing, modification or the transgenic technologies. This is a relatively new technology which has led to the creation of unstable combinations of animals, plants, viral and bacterial genes that never occur by traditional methods of crossbreeding and in nature (Eastham & Sweet, 2002). This paper discusses various aspects of GMOs.
Safety of GMOs
GMOs are often not considered safe in many countries that are developed. Such nations have also developed major restrictions and outright bans on the sales and production of GMOs. However, nations as the United States and the Canadian government have approved the GMOs based on the studies carried out by the corporations which create them and make profits from the sale. Most nations globally have passed their crucial concerns on the GMO labeling. Sixty-four nations worldwide including Japan, Australia, and all the European Union countries require the labeling of genetically modified foods (Skogstad, 2003). Due to lack of compulsory labeling, non-GMO projects were created to provide the consumers with informed choices (Caswell, 2000).
Foods Containing GMOs
There are various foods which contain GMOs. Most of the foods that are packaged contain the ingredients that are derived from soy, corn, sugar beet and canola. Also, the wide majority of the crops are grown in areas as North America. Most of the crops in such regions are genetically modified (Eastham & Sweet 2002).
Roles of biotech industry in Genetic Modifications
The biotech industry has a key role to play in curbing the challenge of GMO. It has to diversify into other productions as genetic modification of plants is not its only role. The DNA studies hold some promise for most significant applications as medicine. However, current genetically modified food technologies are based on obsolete theories and information and are prone to serious side effects. It has been pushed to the market due to the economic interests. Also, the technology of molecular marker, Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) that is used on conventional breeding has shown great promises for the development of improved crop varieties. The developments would have no potential serious direct genetic modification side effects (Spök, 2007). These industries have assessed the impact of GMOs on the environment.
Environmental impacts of GMOs
The genetically modified foods affect the environment in different ways. More than 75% of the GMOs that are grown globally are often engineered with the tolerance of herbicides. Due to this, the applications of herbicides that are toxic as Roundup have increased 15 times because of GMOs introduction. Genetically Modified crops have also influenced the emergence of super weeds and super bug that are herbicide resistant. The weeds and bugs could therefore only be eradicated using more toxic poisons as 2, 4-D which is a main Agent Orange ingredient. GMOs form direct chemical extensions and are created and sold by the world’s largest chemical organizations. There are adverse long-term effects GMOs to the environment and once released into the atmosphere they organisms are never recallable (Anderson & Nielsen, 2000).
Effect of GMOs to farmers
A part from the effect on the environment GMOs also have various effects on farmers. Since the GMOs are key forms of life, biotechnology organizations have invented ways of obtaining the patents used to restrict their usage. Due to this, the GMO companies now have authority to sue any farmer whose field is contaminated with the GMOs. This would occur even when it would be as a result of neighborhoods field’s drifts. The GMOs are therefore posing serious threats to the sovereignty of farmers and to the national food security of any nation where they would be grown (Anderson & Nielsen, 2000).
I really think and feel the GMOs should never be put let alone labeled on the grocery shops. Thisis due to the fact that these foods have undergone genetic modification which maybe can affect humans. The benefit of GMOs is the high quality and ability to withstand extreme condition. The disadvantage is the impact it might have on people genetic makeup.
Anderson, K., & Nielsen, C. P. (2000). GMOs, Food Safety and the Environment: What Role for Trade Policy and the WTO?. Centre for International Economic Studies.
Caswell, J. A. (2000). Labeling Policy for GMOS: To each his own?
Eastham, K. & Sweet, J. (2002). Genetically modified organisms (GMOs): The significance of gene flow through pollen transfer. Copenhagen: European Environment Agency.
Skogstad, G. (2003). Legitimacy and/or policy effectiveness?: network governance and GMO regulation in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 10(3), 321-338.
Spök, A. (2007). Molecular farming on the rise–GMO regulators still walking a tightrope. TRENDS in Biotechnology, 25(2), 74-82.