Genetically modified organisms also known as GMO’s have become a very controversial topic. Some people agree with this process while others not so much. What are GMO’s exactly? According to Non GMO Project, GMO’s are living organisms whose genetic material has been altered and manipulated within a lab setting. Typically, animals, plants, bacteria and viral genes are what is altered. They were started because it was believed that genetically modified organisms would put an end to world hunger. It was thought that through GMO’s farmers could produce more food with less cost. However, the more the crops are sprayed, in the end it costs more for the farmers and leads to more damage to the environment and creates health concerns. The first GMO crop was approved in 1994 and ever since genetically modified corn, soy, sugar beets and canola have been a common item on Canadian farms. Within this blog post you will find the pros and cons to genetically modified organisms and it will give better insight to what is to come in the future.
The use of GMO’s in modern day society is on a rise, with an increasing population and a higher demand for food production the future of this trend is one sided. At the moment the majority of GMO’s are used for food production, in particular farmers are using them to aid in harvesting crops. These farmers are buying seed from a company called Monsanto, which has genetically modified herbicides and pesticides into the seed itself. While the effects that these seeds containing GMO’s have not been tested with recent science it is hard to determine the negative effects they will have on humans and the environment. Keep in mind that these seeds are grown for the food that we eat. We don’t remember when it was alright to consume pesticides and herbicides as a replacement for milk in our morning cereal. So this begs the question of if it is okay to have them in the seed that grows into the food we are consuming.
On the one side, while using seeds containing GMO’s the success rate of crops increasing and that is good the corporation that runs the farm. But what about the organic farm down the way? One of the negative effects that these seeds are having is cross contamination; in the cycle of life pollen transfers nutrients to other plants in the area and the once all organic farm has now been contaminated with pollen from the GMO farm. The essential bloodline for a farm to be successful is an abundance of fresh water and we are drinking the same water that these farms are using. With more and more diseases and health issues seen today it is hard to tell if GMO’s could be a likely cause, and until proper scientific test are conducted it will remain unknown. The question of profit over health is always the number one question and the massive super farms that feed the world’s food production have one goal and that is to produce the maximum amount of food as efficiently as possible.
With an increasing world population massively in 3rd world countries, where the total amount of people are dying from starvation is growing by the second, a lot of people will be able to benefit from this promising use of technology not only farmers, but societies worldwide. Some possibilities to use GM foods for good are: creating plants weeds, resistant to weeds, pest and other diseases; such as corn. Creating sustainability through GMO’s, GMO’s have helped farmers reduce their environmental footprint by letting them to use less inputs and enabling a shift to reduced tillage. Less usage of farm faculties such as tractor, which means less fuel used and fewer emissions. And the outcome shows that, GMO’s have sustained and cut the CO2 emissions equivalent to downsizing 12.4 million cars from the road for a year. And also used 1.2 billions pounds less pesticides being used between 1996 and 2013. GM crops is one clean way of technology that can help assure and increase yields so that farmers can produce enough food to feed a huge population, and do so in a way that has as little impact as possible on natural resource.
In conclusion, both negative and positive perspectives show valid points to think about. What side are you choosing?