Environmental Effects Of Genetically Modified Foods

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What We Are Eating Are Putting Our World and Health at Risks Food is essential to us. It provides energy and nutrients we need to survive. Therefore, we always want to improve the food’s appearance, nutrient values and increase crop yields. This leads to the creation of genetically modified (GM) foods. According to the World Health Organization, GM foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism (WHO 1). Although it is a newly advanced scientific technology, the effects of GM foods, especially the health risks, are controversial. Many scientists have been doing a lot of tests and research …show more content…
Developing GM foods requires huge cost and time. For example, Monsanto, a leading agriculture company that produces GM seeds and glyphosate-based herbicides, invests more than $2.6 million per day in research and development (Monsanto). Many genetic engineering techniques and GM products have been patented to protect the rights of the biotechnology companies, and to foster innovation. However, biotechnology companies utilize it to enforce farmers to sign an agreement that they will not save and replant seeds produced. In Frompovic’s article, “Economic Issues Surrounding Genetically Modified Foods”, he indicates that a “technology fee” dramatically raises the cost of seeds added to GM seeds from 25 to 40 percent more to seed costs. Globally, farmers paid a premium of $2.2 billion for the patent fees in 2005 (Frompovich 1). It reduces farmers’ earning. Small-scale farm operations and farmers in developing countries will not be able to afford the production of GM crops. Indeed, the production of GM crops cannot increase the income of …show more content…
They believe that GM crops produce insecticides in their tissues and immune to particular herbicides. Hence, they can reduce the manpower, time, and losses to pests and weather. However, statistics show that the product yield of GM crops does not increase. Cassidy, a research analyst, discuss the crop yields in her article entitled “Claims of GMO Yield Increases Don’t Hold Up”. She refers to the results of the research led by Jack Heinemann, a professor of genetics at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, that the average yields of GM corn in the United States were slightly lower than corn yields in Western Europe, where GM crops aren’t grown, from 1986 to 2011. Heinemann’s paper shows no significant difference between the yields of GE corn and soy grown in the United States and the non-GM varieties in Western Europe (Cassidy 1). Generally, there are two types of yield: intrinsic yield (potential yield) and operational yield. Intrinsic yield is the highest possible yield that can reached under ideal conditions. Operational yield is the yield obtained under normal condition, including factors like pests and stress that leads to lower yields. A study done by Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists and former biotechnology adviser to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indicates GM technology does

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