Genetically Modified Foods Essay

1536 Words 7 Pages
“Today, two quite different ways of seeing the global food challenge are emerging as scientist, farmers, and engaged citizens struggle to answer the question: How will we feed ourselves?” (Lappe, 89)
As we move further into the 21st century, it is clearly becoming apparent that one of the greatest problems we will face as a species is the question of how we will manage to feed ourselves. At a time where the population is at the greatest it has ever been and growing, we have over 795 million people who suffer from not having enough food to lead a healthy active life (Hunger Statistics). With this in mind, one of the central controversies of the recent years has become the question of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), which hold the potential
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While humans have been selectively breeding and combining species in order to get desired traits since the beginning of civilization, it was only as of 1980’s that we developed the technology to directly modify the genome of organisms to transfer the specific traits we wanted. Specifically, in 1987, the first commercially valuable examples of this practice came to market, and by 1990, RoundupReady soybean began to be grown commercially in the United States (Lappe 27). Using a variety of methods in the years since, large corporations and some other researchers have been met with a large amount of success in creating crops that exhibit specifically desireable traits that would be incredibly difficult to find naturally or by traditional crop breeding, including resistance to herbicides, having built in pesticides, and solutions to problems such as spoiling or size. The primary control of the production of the new species has been large seed and pesticide corporations due to the significant amount of scientific and financial resources needed for the development of GMOs, but recently smaller research organizations have been making their own as well. The technology has also improved significantly in the years since its original development, and it continues to be a rapidly improving and developing …show more content…
We therefore ask, why is this technology so controversial? One of the largest causes for people being against GMOs is the association of this technology and the massive agricultural corporations that have the most control of it. Since the first genetically modified seeds have hit the market, the price of development has kept the creation of them almost exclusively in the hands of the already huge agribusiness companies. The near monopoly that few groups have for many years has left GMOs with a negative association for many people. Moreover, many of these corporations have been able to significantly affect political decisions regarding regulation and testing of GMOs, allowing these companies to keep the exact processes and product a secret from the rest of the world, making peer review and testing much more difficult. With these restrictions for independent researchers to conduct studies on the commercial products of GMOs, many people are greatly concerned as to the safety of the products. Even if we can assume that the studies that are put out by the corporations themselves are accurate in representing the safety of the product, their is a lot of distrust when it is considered how much the corporations spend on lobbying and promoting scientific articles that support their desired conclusions. Also a major issue with this is that the corporations have virtual monopolies on their product. They

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