Scientist 04’s arguments most directly responds to
Genetically Modified (GM) Food
Genes hold instructions for an organism’s traits. In order for those genes to be expressed, they undergo transcription to
create RNA strands call transcripts. These transcripts will later be translated into proteins, which will lead to the
organism’s traits. Genetic engineering is a term given to the technique of altering the genetic components of organisms,
typically with the goal of changing the expression of the organism’s genes. This field of science and technology is often
the site controversy. One such controversy is on the use of genetically modified (GM) crops. GM crops include, but are
not limited to cotton, corn, soy, wheat, rice, potatoes, tobacco, and cranberries. Over the past 25 years, the use and
availability of GM crops has increased over 4,000%. GM products are used by both industrialized and developing
nations. The use of these products is expected to continue to increase into the future.
GM foods have been genetically engineered for beneficial traits. However, something does not come from nothing. In
order to provide these plants with those traits, foreign genes must be inserted into the plant’s genome. These genes
then create a protein product that is alien to the cells of the modified plant. Although genes may be innocuous in their
own genomes, there is no way to know exactly how these foreign genes and transcripts will interact with those native to
the host cell. These foreign genes and proteins are present when the public consumes the GM product. While the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found toxic effects of those products yet, they may still carry the potential
of having unintended consequences.
While there are potential immediate benefits in the use of GM products, those benefits do not outweigh the potentially
hazardous long-term fallout from the GM crops, and that is how they will reshape our environment. If these GM crops,
which grow faster, more efficiently, and have greater resistance to known threats, are exposed to the environment, they
will have artificial advantages over the native species of plant. This could lead to a loss of biodiversity, where the GM
crops outcompete other plant species to the point of extinction, limiting the gene pool to only those GM crops. Having a
limited gene pool decreases the likelihood of the plants surviving novel threats in the environment. The end result may
be a disastrous crash in flora, the producers of our ecosystem.
Genetically modified crops are reshaping the world. Genetic engineering can improve the crop yield, increase the
nutritional value, and provide resistance to insects, viruses, and droughts. What does that mean? In short, more food.
Not just more food, but food that can provide better nutritional value. The human population size has exceeded 7 billion
and continues to rise. Our success as a species has always depended on technology and manipulating organisms for our
survival. Since humans first began agriculture, our species has been endeavoring at bioengineering. Humans have been
selectively breeding organisms since before recorded history. Before selective breeding, an ear of corn looked like a
small stick with a couple of kernels enclosed in a fruit-case. Genetically modifying our crops is the next step in
agriculture that will allow our species to not only survive, but continue to thrive into the future.
There are various concerns surrounding the use of GM foods. However, the agencies that are responsible for ensuring
the safety of consumers have found no viable threat from the use of GM products. In fact, many of the modified genes
used in GM products can be found in organic, or non-GM, foods consumed by the public every day. In addition to
protecting the consumer, the GM industry is also working to ensure the safety of the ecosystem. Most modern GM
agricultural products are being created with a safeguard, limiting reproductive ability. The companies that have created
these GM crops want to retain rights to their products, and have designed their plants without the ability to reproduce.
In addition to helping to maintain ownership over their products, these actions have also helped to eliminate concern
over the possibility of GM flora overtaking native plants.