Some of the benefits that scientists have come across with respect to the genetically changed food crops are that these crops contain whole lot of nutritients. Also, these crops require fewer amounts of resources like water and fertilizer for its production. It has the capacity of growing fast with increase in the supply and as it requires less cost to produce, it is available in the market at a minimum cost. It increases the supply and as it also has a longer shelf life; therefore the supply related issue is reduced in the global market by its production. Scientists often use genetically engineered crops in the form of vaccines or other forms of medication.
Despite the various advantages, there are strong debates for its harmful effect in to the society. Many of the scholars believe that the changes in the genes are unknown and harmful. Due to the changes in the genes, it might interbreed and the outcome is unexpected and can cause harm to the environment as well as humans and other living beings (Teitel, “Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature”).
It is expected that the world population will get double in the coming years, but with scarce resources of land it is not possible to produce as much as to feed all of the populace. So, the production has to be increased. But the prime question remains how? To this, the scientists have developed the GE technology which will increase the production level with lesser cost and minimal resources.
The targeted genes are basically taken from one plant but while infusing it into another, it is expected to work properly but the possibility of working of other genes in that plant might not function which is important for the plant to grow.
The GE crops are identical in genetic structure, so if any pest or virus or any other organism can affect any of the plants, the possibility of it to attack other plants are spectacularly high along with the possibility of the crop failure.
Also, there lies the chance of cross pollination. Wind, insects and birds can carry the GE seeds into another area altering the organic, non-organic and other crops. As the testing has not been for a longer period of time so it cannot be fully relied upon the GE crops, as the genes are taken from plants that are basically not consumed.
The genetically engineered crops can produce unexpected mutation in the crop that the people are not aware of as it might be harmful for one’s health because of immense increase of toxins. It may also have allergic reactions in human body.
The fact is that genetically engineered crops have increased the production level but along with it, it has also enhanced the harmful affects for our health (Atherton, “Genetically Modified Crops: Assessing Safety”).
Atherton, T. K. Genetically Modified Crops: Assessing Safety. CRC Press, 2002.
Liang, H George. Genetically Modified Crops: Their Development, Uses, and Risks. Routledge, 2004.
Teitel, M & Wilson, A. K. Genetically Engineered Food: Changing The Nature of Nature. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company, 2001.
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