genetically modified organisms essay

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Post on 12-Jan-2016




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Old biology essay on GMOs


Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs are the subject of a debate that spans across nations. I believe that GMOs should be use but in moderation. Many disagree, arguing that genetic engineering is immoral as its tampering with nature and could be dangerous.The main concern for the vast majority is that are GMOs safe to eat. So far there has been no negative side effects to eating GMO. Just because nothing has been found yet does not mean it is not there. Nothing can be 100% safe something can always go wrong. Scientists have discovered that people may have allergic reactions to food that has been modified by the food they are allergic to. If this is the case it can easily be fixed by adding a warning if a food has been modified by an allergic food. The second argument against GMOs is that it is tampering with nature. Ever since we discovered the ability to crossbreed plants we have been tampering with nature. Tomatoes today are giants compared to its ancestors. Some go as far to say genetic engineering is just a more advanced form of crossbreeding. Breeding may be more dangerous than engineering, as you never know when a genetic disease is hiding in DNA. With genetic engineering you can edit out dangerous genetic faults. Celery at one point had a toxin that caused rashes in humans. This is not a civilization genetic disease, but its an inconvenience that can be avoided. Protestants against genetic engineering carry signs that say strawberries mixed with fish DNA will taste like fish. This came from the idea of taking the gene for cold-resistance from an artic flounder and putting it into a strawberry to prevent frost damage. In genetic engineering biologists move one gene at a time out of thousands is not a big deal. One gene will not make strawberry suddenly taste and smell like fish.Another issue is that GMOs could damage the environment. One case of this is the monarch butterfly. More monarch caterpillars died eating genetically modified pollen then normal leaves. The counter argument is that the pollen will not spread far distances and therefore not pose a threat to the Monarch species as a whole. If genetically engineered fish escaped into the ocean they would ravage ecosystems. Fish engineered to grow larger and faster which makes it more popular for reproduction may have inferior genes to survive in the wild. They would reproduce rapidly and spread these unfit genes to their offspring. This has the potential to wipe out an entire species and by consequence, endanger or wipe out other species that may have relied on this fish for food.Others say that we need GMOs to feed the world. Genetically modified crops could help starving countries with crops that are unable to grow or are destroyed by disease. With GMOs you could add in resistance to disease and even genes to increase size and yield. But why dont we just give food to these starving countries. Some do not want to rely on other countries to support themselves, if they were given the GMO crops it would be a case of teaching the man to fish and not just giving him one. GMOs have strong evidence supporting them, but in the end the choice comes down to us. We can choose between organic and genetically modified foods. We choose what we put into our bodies and we choose what we do to our planet.