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The Risks and Unknowns of Genetically Modified Foods - Research Paper Example

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In the current society, humans have developed an addiction for controlling nature. This way, efforts have been directed towards technological advancements, ignoring the hard facts of nature self sustenance functions and cycles…
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The Risks and Unknowns of Genetically Modified Foods

Download file to see previous pages... It is worth noting that increased interests, in the pursuit of genetically modified foods presents, yet, another example for such addictions. A genetically modified crop often refers to a crop whose genes have been altered in order to satisfy some specifics. In most case, these is done through selecting, isolating and copying ideal genes in ensuring that a particular crop would sustain harsh environments or certain diseases of which naturally it could not, and eventually produces a larger crop yield. Maghari & Ardekani (2011) indicate that genetically modified crop can be manipulated so that they can resist diseases and insects, as well as tolerate herbicides, which eventually, leads to production of high nutritional crop value. As of current, there are approximately 148 million agricultural lands that have been commercialized for purposes of cultivation of genetically modified crops. Canada, United States, china and Argentina have been cited as the leading regions where genetically modified crops are grown. Research has indicated that genetically modified foods are more popular amongst developing countries since through impressing this technology, these countries often strive to alleviate poverty and hunger. Consumers who are knowledgeable over the GM technology are often skeptical about its effects. It has been reported that GMOs, exhibit both harmful and unknown effects. For instance, it is cited that the environment is at a greater risk of losing biodiversity, and extinction (Skanche & Friedman, 2009). The risks emanating from genetically modified foods can either be environmental or health related. Environmental risks include the creations of super pests and super weeds. Generally, GMOs have been reputed for containing genes, which make them to be pest resistant. It is also noted that herbicide tolerant genes is a characteristics that make the GMOs to be resistant even after being sprayed by a weed killer. This is a characteristic that makes other weeds to be eradicated hence leaving the desired crop intact. Although proponents of GMOs boasts about the abilities of the crop to resist pests as well as reduced chemical application, such pest resistant genes often come with risks. The effect on biodiversity as mentioned above has been one of the issues of major concern when it comes to the GM food. According to Pandey et al (2010), GM foods have the capability of spreading their genes to other plants, and in the eventuality contaminate wild plants natural genetic makeup. Given that plants have a direct contact with one another, it becomes impractical to isolate a set of plants from the surrounding wildlife, and this applies to planted cropland. The impact of GM food on the environment is not only a concern that arises from the international growth of GM, but also its associated human health, which is a major factor in investigating the risks posed by GM foods. Maghari and Ardekani (2010) noted that some of the major issues concerning the effects of GM foods on human health has remain unknown for many years. Safety testing methods of foods are poor and considering the fact that GM foods have been recently introduced, long term effects still remains unknown. The deepest concern could possibly lie on the GM food toxicity, and the potentiality to introduce new strains of allergy. Maghari and Ardekani (2010) have pointed out that, animals whose testing has been done have shown negative reactions ranging from premature births, abnormal births, infertility, abortions, illness and death. Critics have it that considering the signs observed in animals, it is most likely that humans are at an increased risk of experiencing similar results (Skanche & Friedman, 2009). Adding to toxicity, Pandey et al (2010 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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