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GM FOODS, A BLESSING AND A CURSE FOR GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

by | 16-03-2014 22:30 recommendations 0

The term GM foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is commonly used for the crop or plants created for human or animal consumption by using the latest molecular techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to attain the desired traits like, increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional contents. The improvement of desired traits has conventionally been undertaken through breeding, but conventional plant breeding methods can be very time taking and are often not very precise. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, has the potential to create plants with the accurate desired trait very quickly and with great accuracy. For example, plant biotechnologists can isolate a gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into another plant. The new genetically-modified plant will gain drought tolerance as well.

Genes cannot only be transferred from one plant to another, but genes from non-plant organisms can also be used. Crop losses from insect pests can be shocking, resulting in destructive financial loss for farmers and undernourishment in developing countries. Farmers normally use many tons of chemicals and pesticides annually. Consumers do not like to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of probable health hazards, and run-off of agricultural wastes from excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers can poison the water supply and cause harm to the environment as well.  By Growing GM foods such as BT corn we can help to eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the expenditure of bringing a crop to market.

It is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means in some crops such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds, a time-taking and costly process that requires care so that the herbicide doesn't harm the crop plant or the environment. Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. For example, Monsanto has created a strain of soybeans genetically modified to be not affected by their herbicide product Roundup.  A farmer grows these soybeans which then only require one application of weed-killer instead of multiple applications, reducing production cost and limiting the dangers of agricultural waste run-of.

So it could be concluded that although some people think that GM crops have many disadvantages but these crops are safe for human health, animal health and the environment. The GM crops might affect the environment in negatively as well by the unintentional transfer of transgenes through cross-pollination. The damaged genetic modification cause mutations in the organisms like microbes. This causes the loss of habitat for animals, plants and microbes. In short, GMOs have their own advantages and demerits for the global environment but scientists could play their role in making and promoting the GMOs having fewer disadvantages, have the ability to decrease disease intensity and insect attack so that we could protect the air, soil and water by escaping tons of pesticides spray on our crops.

 
A GM Crop, growing successfully in PakistanDigit Code to identify the type of food

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6 Comments

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Thanks for detailed explaination of various types of food with details on codes. I personally feel that organic food is the best & everyone should start buying and consuming organic food. If demand increases , there may be increase in supplies and hence the current high cost of organic food may reduce .
    Posted 22-03-2014 02:57

  • says :
    @Farooq, Do you think that GM foods is the answer to solve the agriculture crisis caused by climate change?
    Posted 20-03-2014 08:12

  • says :
    If anybody have any question related to GM foods, feel free to ask me. I would be more then happy to help you people......
    Posted 19-03-2014 22:08

  • says :
    You both are correct but I have discussed GM foods with respect to global environment. They are a blessing for our environment because by using resistant GM crops, we could save tons of pesticides and hence keep our environment safe and clean.

    Posted 18-03-2014 11:05

Rohan Kapur

  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Organic food is the best. No pesticides. This was the conventional agriculture method for ages but was put on back seat when industrialization invaded the agriculture.
    Posted 17-03-2014 14:09

  • says :
    Thank you for the detail explanation on GM Food. There are many scientific results show that GM foods can widely affect our body in very scary way like causing cancers, mutants. I think the more close to the nature the better for our health. :) No pesticide, no genetic modification.
    Posted 17-03-2014 09:35

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