The Pros And Cons Of Genetically Modified Organisms

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Are GMOs “living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory,” which results in “unstable conditions…that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods” (Non GMO Project)? Or is genetic engineering simply a process that “takes a beneficial trait that helps a living thing thrive in nature…and adapts that trait to a new plant so it can better survive in its environment” (Monsanto)? Can new biotechnologies and GMOs solve global nutrition challenges? A more accurate term may be transgenic’—any organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by adding genetic material from another, unrelated organism. This, too, has its own exceptions with altered and synthesized genes. Genetically modified …show more content…
Even the very definition of a ‘GMO’ remains elusive, and the terminology is as controversial as genetic modification itself. GMOs are heralded as the best solution for world hunger and global poverty, or denigrated as unnatural monster creations. As the debate is further polarized by biotechnology proponents and opponents, the public is torn between Big Ag, industry lobbyists, consumer advocacy organizations, government policies, and campaigns media campaigns alike clamoring to prove themselves. One particular area of disagreement is whether or not GMOs can be used to solve global nutrition challenges and the implications for the developing world.
Globalization may have improved the quality of life for many people, but exacerbates existing inequalities across lines of race, gender, and geographical location. The gaps between the Global North and Global North are blamed on ‘culturally backward’ people and ‘politically unstable’ governments who have not developed enough, and need the help of the more intelligent, advanced West. This savoir complex also rears its head in the case of food insecurity. Famines have not been caused by food shortage, but power imbalances in the global environment: “some of the world’s most agriculturally abundant nations are also the hungriest” (Berg). Between 1845 and
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In the US, there are three federal agencies testing biosafety (Borlaug, 19). There is no way to guarantee “zero biological risk,” but biotechnology products do have more stringent requirements than do conventional plants (Borlaug, 19). Monsanto corroborates claims that “GM crops have been reviewed and tested more than any other crops in the history of agriculture and have been shown to be as safe as conventional crops” based on studies by their own research teams and independent groups of scientists and support from credible public health organizations (Monsanto). Big Green discourages further testing and public-supported research, but then decries the industry for not conducting enough research. At the same time, most studies are conducted by industry supported scientists who have incentives to prove safety. It is no wonder that the debate over biosafety is so polarized and complicated, and people are left in the dark, confused and still

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