What are GMO’s? Are they good or bad? GMO’s, genetically modified organisms, is a result of a laboratory process in which genes from DNA are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. In other words, a GMO is any type of organism whose genetic material has been altered by scientists using genetic engineering techniques. Some examples of where GMO’s can be found are milk, cheese, eggs, meat, corn and poultry.
Why are GMO’s bad? Some people believe GMO’s are bad. Here’s why. GMO crops increase pesticide use. U.S. government data shows that GMO crops have produced an overall increase, not decrease, in pesticide use compared to conventional crops. Second, some scientists believe that GMO’s can be harmful for human health, including lowering the effect of antibiotics. They also question the long-term health effects. Finally, GMO’s can also be harmful for our environment. Whenever there are changes made artificially to nature, there is concern about the rippling effect and how that will impact not just the crop altered, but everything else around it in the ecosystem. The entire ecosystem can be disrupted.
Why are GMO’s good? Many believe that GMO’s are good. Here’s why. As Earth’s population grows, it’s harder to have enough food for everyone. GMO’s are one way to make enough nutritious food available with limited land, water, and other resources. Another reason is scientists can alter our food to contain specific nutrients the food otherwise would not have. For example, soybeans whose fats have been changed so they are more like olive oil. This is now a heart healthy replacement for oils with trans fats. Finally, GMOs can alter species of plants so they are stronger and can survive drought, weed killer, bruising, viruses, and overall can produce crops that yield more and cost less.
As you can see, there are good arguments to support the use of GMO’s and also to question the use of GMO’s. What do you think? It’s definitely food for thought…
By: Sammy Lipovitch