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Genetically modified foods - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Benefits Genetic Engineering in Food Production As the global population grows to unprecedented levels, so does the demand for sustainable food supply especially in the agricultural sector. In the ancient times, humans embraced the natural techniques of farming and breeding, which worked well but heavily depended on the prevailing weather conditions (Santaniello, Evenson, and Zilberman 51)…
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Genetically modified foods

Download file to see previous pages... Although the use of genetically modified foods may have certain shortcomings, the global population should embrace the technique fully to ensure sustainable food production and hence global food security. Essentially, genetically modified foods are foods that have undergone genetic engineering aimed at altering their DNA in order to improve their overall productivity (Freedman 45). Since the process completely changes the DNA, the resulting crop is extremely resistant to drought and diseases in addition to producing high yields when compared to the original crop (Teitel and Wilson 36). While the process started long ago, the commercial selling of GMOs commenced in 1994. Currently, the genetically modified foods are majorly from the plant origin although there are prospects of coming up with such kinds of animals species soon. Perhaps it is important to note that during the genetic modification, a new gene from another species is introduced into the plant species in order to come up with a completely new combination of genes in the new crop (Santaniello, Evenson, and Zilberman 51). Despite the fact that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have numerous advantages, it faces sharp criticisms from various quarters who claim that it has adverse effects on both the environment and human health (Freedman 44). Indeed, the genetically modifies organisms interfere with the natural environment thereby causing imbalance in the ecosystem (Forman 27). Due to their drought and disease resistant nature, the genetically modified foods consume all the nutrients form the soil thus depriving the surrounding natural crops the required amounts on nutrients to flourish. In this regard, it is vital to weigh the effects against the benefits of the genetically modified foods before any concrete decision is made on a new crop (Teitel and Wilson 37). Owing to the rapid trends in climate change, the world has been on a constant lookout for any threats to food security and available options of increasing the crop yield. Luckily, genetic engineering has provided the solution to the constant droughts in various parts of the world that more often accentuate the hunger situation (Teitel and Wilson 46). The technique of genetically modified foods is intended to change the genetic structure of the natural crop to be able to survive the harshest of growing conditions. In this case, there is no need of using such natural methods as mutual and selective breeding. In essence, the commercial exploitation of genetic engineering began in the year 1994 with the main cash crops being soybeans, cottonseed oil, and corn (Santaniello, Evenson, and Zilberman 51). Although experiments are currently ongoing to modify the animal species to be drought and disease resistant, none of the genetically modifies animals is in the market (Carter, Moschini, and Sheldon 28). Perhaps the first advantage of using the genetically modified foods is the fact that they can be used to cleanse the environment through phytoremediation. In this case, it is vital to understand that some genetically modif ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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