Genetically Modified Organisms: Harms That They Can Bring

By Sheryl Eleazar | Last Updated January 22, 2013

Genetically modified organisms may have some benefits to offer. Yet, benefits are not the only things GMOs can provide. The disadvantages of genetic engineering are overpowering that your approval will change into disapproval.

Sheryl Eleazar

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Sheryl Eleazar


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image of tomato plant with blue-colored tomato fruit

Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are a broad group of plants, animals, and bacteria that are engineered for a wide variety of applications ranging from agricultural production to scientific research. 1  

Modern Genetic Engineering, the technology applied in producing Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs, started way back in 1946 when scientists initially found out that DNA can be transferred from one organism to another.  Since then, various organisms, plants and animals have been genetically engineered; supposedly to improve their quality.  Examples of plants commonly engineered are potatoes, canola, corn, tomatoes and soybeans.

Whenever we hear about the benefits GMOs can offer, we cannot help but be astonished by the developments. Through GMOs, plants and animals can better withstand diseases, which boils down to more nutritious foods for us to eat.  Nonetheless, we have to remember that everything has its benefits and drawbacks. While the benefits offered by GMOs are amazing, if you will continue to explore more about them, you may realize that their drawbacks can actually be far more overwhelming.

Impact On The Environment

The Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops, genetically modified crops pose six kinds of potential risks … 2  

When a GMO is created, there could be numerous negative impacts on the environment that were not foreseen.  The engineered plant might turn to weeds or it might serve as a medium that can spread the engineered genes to other plants, which can become weeds. The engineered crop may also produce certain viruses that can give birth to new and more dangerous viruses or pathogens.

Also, the altered plant could pose risks to other non-targeted organisms. For example, a plant that has been engineered to be resistant to pests might be eaten by other animals and beneficial insects to which they are toxic.  Usual pests may be driven away, but the void they leave can be filled by other pests.

Engineered organisms can also possibly create a disturbance in the ecosystem that experts might not see coming. The soil ecosystem is greatly affected by genetic engineering.  Altered crops can leave toxin residues in the soil even after they have been harvested.

Impact On Health

GM foods are not more nutritious but can be toxic or allergenic… 3  

GMOs can potentially harm human health.  The genetic makeup of a plant, animal or an organism can give way to the unintentional development of new allergenic properties. Peanuts, for example, have very potent allergens that can potentially kill a person.  Suppose a gene from peanuts was extracted and introduced into rice, similar allergens can also be passed on to the rice plant. It can be very dangerous to people allergic to peanuts to eat rice. On top of that, they would likely not have been informed that the rice has been altered.

FUN BUN

Boy 1: The student ate his assignment.

Boy 2: Why?

Boy 1: Because the teacher said it was just a piece of cake!

 

Boy 1: What name do cats have for mice riding on skateboards?

Boy 2: What?

Boy 1: ‘Meals on wheels’

 

Boy 1: A man is looking seriously at the mango juice can.

Boy 2: Why is that?

Boy 1: Because the label said ‘concentrate’.

Effect On The Economy

Threat to food security… Threat to livelihood… 4  

GMOs threaten food security. Numerous developing countries still do not have their means of developing GMOs, thus, they are expected to be dependent on multinational companies and research agencies for food production.  As such, food security practices and policies will be destabilized. Furthermore, there are only some genetically altered foods and crops that are within the means of the buying public. The lofty price of GMOs can render small to medium-scale farmers insolvent. They would not be able to grow their own foods nor even pay for their food needs.

Livelihood is also threatened by GMOs that have already been produced or are now being produced by some companies. Substances that are usually derived from tropical plants like chocolate, sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla are now substituted by genetically modified organisms. The livelihood of millions of sugar farmers will be endangered by sweeteners and sugars grown in other places.

Companies creating genetically altered organisms will have immense power and influence in the agricultural industry. They can obtain exclusive rights for making and selling such organisms. Countries that are technologically advanced will experience the most benefits from the rising GMO production while developing countries will depend more and more on these industrialized countries.

Delicious, Fun Facts About Chocolate

Chocolates are often blamed by some people as being responsible for making them fat or sick, but are chocolates really bad for you?

Chocolates are derived from Cocoa beans. Beans are legumes or, technically, vegetables. Moreover, chocolate may also contain sugar, which is also obtained from sugar cane or beets, which are also vegetables. Both beans and beets are sugar. Therefore, chocolate can be categorized as vegetable. Vegetable is healthy, so chocolate is also healthy.

Aside from these, chocolates also contain milk, which is a dairy product. Milk is a complete food because it contains a lot of nutrients. Thus, chocolate bars are, likewise, considered as healthy food.

Some chocolate candies also contain fruits like strawberries, cherries and raisins. Fruits are also healthy foods that come highly recommended. From these justifications, you can forget about what other people say and simply indulge your chocolate craving.

Consequence On Ethics

…laws of nature cannot and should not be violated, that the basic structure of the created order shouldn’t be tampered with… 5  

The topic about genetically modified organisms raises criticisms not just in relation to environmental impact, health effects and economic influence but it is also unacceptable with respect to ethics. God alone has the true power and rights to instill changes in any organism. It is wrong to play God. It is not in the hands of humans to perform such changes. It is unnatural and unethical to manipulate genes and infusing it into another living creature. Furthermore, the animals used in genetic engineering projects and procedures are subjected to stress and pain.




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