Environmental Effects Of Gm Foods

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With a population of 7 billion, Earth doesn’t have enough space and farmers to feed everyone, let alone the estimated population of 9 billion come 2050. Scientists are attempting to solve this hunger issue by creating genetically modified food, which is capable of growing in harsh conditions, has more nutritional benefits, and its production can lead to a lower food price. These genetically modified organisms (GMO) don’t come without problems though. Growing of GMOs can cause environmental damage and has led to an increase in the number of allergic reactions in the general population. The benefits of genetically modified food are greatly appreciated around the world. GMOs can grow in harsher conditions, allowing more food to be grown around …show more content…
There are dangers to messing with nature’s products. Growing of GMO’s is known to cause environmental damage. The genetic modifications are known to cause new weedy species through outcrossing and effect non-target organisms. Outcrossing is the transfer of engineered genes from GM crops to wild plants. This could give certain plant an advantage in the wild and radically alter ecosystems (Dill, 2010). Another issue with outcrossing is it could contaminate crops not intended to be GM crops. This becomes a major issue when the strain of GM food that is outcrossed is not approved for human consumption. A few cases have been reported where genetically modified crops only approved for animal feed or industrial use were detected in the products intended for human consumption (Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods. n.d.). Eating biological modifications that are not intended to be safe for humans could easily lead to diseases or even death. Another environmental issue involved in genetically modified foods is the effect on non-target organisms. Certain pesticides were introduced into GM crops to help them resist infestation. This is helpful, until it is realized that it is not just hurting the pest insects, but also the pollinator ones. “In May of 1999, it was reported that pollen from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-insect resistant corn had a negative impact on Monarch butterfly larvae” (Pocket K No. 4: GM Crops and the Environment, 2013, August). When genetic modifications affect insects like pollinators, they affect the entire ecosystem. If the number of pollinators drops, then the number of flowering plants and crops that grow will decrease. It’s very important that when adding pesticides into part of the genetic modification of food, people pay attention to make sure they are not destroying the ecosystem and actually causing a reduction in the amount of food grown. Genetically modified food can actually

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