Essay on Biogenetics: Genetically Modified Food and Food supply

Submitted By klllx
Words: 1680
Pages: 7

Benefits of Genetically Modified Organisms

A human being eats an average of three to four meals a day, so within a month of thirty days one person has already consumed a little over one hundred meals. So, imagine seven billion people and each one of them eats three meals a day. Now, add two more billion to the population since the population is only increasing from here on. With a total of nine billion people eating an average of three meals a day that is a whole lot of food being consumed. Besides human beings, animals also need to eat as well so add a couple more billions to the population. With so many people and animals in the world there is simply just not enough food to feed everyone. Since the population is increasing the easy solution to fix the food supply problem would be to just grow more food, but there are not enough arable land due to urbanization, desertification, salinization, and soil erosion (Godfray et al., 2010). Because that solution could not be done some other solutions were proposed; eat less, cut back on the amount of meat intake, and to stop wasting food due to lack of storage. There is one other solution or method that can help increase the food supply without having to eat less or change one’s diet and that is genetic engineering. Genetically modified organisms can be plants, bacteria and animals, which have all been modified through genetic engineering. The main purpose of these genetically modified organisms is to increase the world’s supply of food. In order for this to be achieved the organisms are made to have a tolerance against herbicide, and resistance against insects that eat away and damage the crops. Also some crops result in an increase in the products’ quality, and valuable substances like vitamins or fatty acids (Haque and Hossain, 2011). Since these genetically modified organisms are resistant to insects and such now, farmers can lower pesticide usage and bring in higher yield which will increase their profits (Zhao, 2012). Also, when there tends to be an excess of something the price usually drops, so for consumers now their vegetables will cost less as well. Therefore, with an increase in yield, there would be an increase in the food supply, and with an increase in the food supply there will be enough food to support the growing population. In order to “make” these genetically modified organisms, the genes of the organism have been altered to produce organisms with specific advantages. Because of this reason, there are many people out there who are skeptical and not willing to accept this practice. The arguments not in favor of genetically modified organisms are such that, it is unsafe for people to consume, produces allergies, and that because of the genetic transfers it will lead to unpredictable consequences with devastating effects (Cristescu and Pamfilie, 2011). One of the reasons that people might think this way is because they do not really know much about genetically modified organisms. A survey was conducted on consumers’ information on genetically modified organisms, fifty-six percent said they were partially informed, fourteen percent said they are sufficiently informed and thirty percent are not all that informed about it (Cristescu and Pamfilie, 2011). If people were more informed about genetic engineering they might be more open minded about it considering that there are many benefits to it. The main argument for being against genetic engineering is probably the assumption that it is dangerous and harmful to consumers. This is not necessary true because the crops that have been genetically modified are safe to eat because the world has consumed these crops for thirteen years without any incident (Fedoroff et al., 2010). According to Nilufar Haque, “each GM crop has undergone rigorous testing and assessment based on the latest guidance from regulatory agencies and national and international scientific organizations.”