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Biotechnology - Essay Example

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Much has been discussed about the pros and cons of genetically modified food, this paper will shed light upon how genetically modified food can be really useful in eliminating hunger.
Countless children succumb to hunger each day in…
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Biotechnology
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Client’s 7 August Is genetically modified food good or bad? Much has been discussed about the pros and cons of genetically modified food, this paper will shed light upon how genetically modified food can be really useful in eliminating hunger.
Countless children succumb to hunger each day in Africa; the problem of malnutrition can easily be solved should human beings start using genetically modified foods. Malnutrition can be slowly but steadily eliminated should genetically modified foods be used on a daily basis. However, the safety testing and regulations are yet to be sorted out for these genetically modified foods as this is a topic of acrimonious debate. Much debate has already taken place over this very debatable topic.
The label of these foods is another very debatable topic; human beings need to be educated about these foods, it is also important to tell them about the pros and cons of consuming it. Companies would gleefully produce tons of genetically modified food but who would take the responsibility of distributing it and educating the consumers about it? These questions need to be answered sooner rather than later.
“What is the level of detectability of GM food cross-contamination? Scientists agree that current technology is unable to detect minute quantities of contamination, so ensuring 0% contamination using existing methodologies is not guaranteed.” (Genetically Modified Food)

Genetically modified food is the result of fine genetic engineering, human beings have come a long way and some of the recent developments that have been made are truly startling. Every coin is two sided and this particular case is no different, research goes to show that genetically modified foods have a better resistance against pests when compared to natural food. This means the losses incurred to farmers and other people who are involved in the same can easily be averted. Research also goes to show that genetically modified food is also resistant to herbicides which natural food can never be. These are some of its advantages but there are disadvantages too which must be considered to make its case even.
Last year a laboratory study was published which showed that pollen from B.t. corn caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars consume milkweed plants, not corn, but the fear is that if pollen from B.t. corn is blown by the wind onto milkweed plants in neighboring fields, the caterpillars could eat the pollen and perish. Although the Nature study was not conducted under natural field conditions, the results seemed to support this viewpoint. Unfortunately, B.t. toxins kill many species of insect larvae indiscriminately; it is not possible to design a B.t. toxin that would only kill crop-damaging pests and remain harmless to all other insects. (Transgenic pollen harms monarch larvae)
There are several unknown effects of consuming genetically modified foods; more research is being conducted in this field. Research thus far has found both pros and cons of consuming genetically modified foods.
To conclude it is very fair to say that the research conducted thus far is incomplete and no concrete step can be taken as of now. More research is necessary before taking a significant step in determining whether genetically modified food should be consumed or not.
Works Cited
Genetically Modified Food (2012). Harmful or Helpful? Retrieved from Transgenic pollen harms monarch larvae (Nature, Vol 399, No 6733, p 214, May 1999) Read More
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