Environmental Concerns Essay

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Environmental Concerns. As far as environmental and ecological issues are concerned, the biggest issues are a potential gene escape, superweeds, impacts on non-target species, insecticide resistance, and the loss of biodiversity. Some people believe that genetically modified plants and weeds will cross pollinate, creating weeds that are resistant to glyphosate(a broad spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds) and in turn make the weeds difficult to control. The chance of this occurring is small but still possible. However, if a plant did become resistant to glyphosate it could easily be killed with a different type of herbicide.
Another reason people are concerned about transgenic crops is that they could have negative impacts on nontarget species.
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In order to prevent this from happening, there has been an extensive collection of seeds of all types of plant varieties of all major crops by plant breeders.Biotechnologists in the agricultural field also want to make sure that there is a genetic diversity among plants. While genetic diversity is a concern, in the United States the demand for locally grown produce as well as special crop varieties has been on the rise, simultaneously maintaining the demand for non GMO foods and biodiversity.
Social Concerns. The major social issues regarding genetically modified crops are labeling, terminator crops, safety, and regulation. Many people who are currently against genetically engineered foods are concerned because current regulations on labeling only require genetically modified foods to be labeled if they are nutritionally different from non genetically modified foods. This means that they could be against eating genetically modified foods and still be consuming them without their
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Currently GMO plants are required to pass through health checks of the USDA, EPA, and the FDA; each having a different responsibility in the approval process. The USDA determines if a plant is safe to be grown, the EPA examines the product in case of negative impacts on the environment, and the FDA has the final say in declaring if the product is safe to eat. First, in order to begin growing GMO crops the farmer has to register with the USDA for permission. The farmer/researcher must ensure that plant parts and pollen from the plant being tested and grown are not being released into the environment during this trial period. The crops are then regulated by the EPA who makes sure that there are no potential impacts on non target species or other threatened/endangered species. Finally, the foods of those crops that passed through the EPA need to pass the inspection of the FDA. As stated earlier, if the GMO plant’s nutritional content or composition has significantly changed or the food poses a potential health risk, it must be labeled as such. Some people are concerned that this process isn’t enough and that there is a risk because there are no studies proving long term effects. However, the National Academy of Sciences and FDA have determined that in general GMO foods are as safe if not safer than non GMO

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