The Issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

The issue of GMO is of a great importance to me. Some scientists call the products produced using genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms a bomb. Others claim that genetically modified organisms save humanity from hunger. The debate about the dangers and benefits of genetically modified organisms for ordinary consumers has lost the meaning because we have been eating transgenes for a long period, even when we do not suspect it. Taking into consideration the necessity to use genetically modified food and its possible harm to human health, we must realize what is worse: humanity dying of hunger or of unproven GMOs’ harm. These two dissimilar arguments determine the future of GMOs.

For several years, debate about the dangers of genetically modified (GM) food continues. Two camps have been formed: the first is sure that these products cause irreparable harm to health; the latter (which includes biologists) argues that the damage caused by the use of GM products is devoid of any proven reason. The use of such products is obvious: it supplies the population of our planet with agricultural products. The world population is growing, and the acreage is most often diminished. Genetically modified crops are easier to grow, so they are less expensive. Another side of this issue is the impact of such products on future generations, which we will observe only in future.

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On the one hand, general information about the issue is not threatening. It even unclear why there is so much fuss over it. In many countries, the production of transgenic products is banned, but their sale and import from abroad is allowed. Many people do not even know that they buy numerous products made from genetically modified soybeans, for example, ice cream, cheese, protein products for athletes, dried soy milk, etc.

As it was mentioned above, the use of such products is clear as in such a way it becomes possible to supply the growing population of our planet with products. Those who support the use of GMO underline that despite there are a lot of opponents, the harm of GM products is not certified by any serious study. In contrast, after some time, GM products help to get rid of various toxic chemicals that are used in the cultivation of many crops. The result of above-mentioned is possible reduction of chronic diseases (particularly allergic) and other immune disorders.

However, it puts us on our guard as biologists do not deny the fact that no one knows what the effect of the use of GM food on the health of future generations is. The first results will be known only in a few decades, this experiment only requires time. As for me, I do not want to be a test subject (Koons Garcia 189).

In addition, what worries me as well as many other people is that in the stores, genetically modified products from corn, potato, rapeseed, and soybeans prevail over other non GM products. Besides, there are GM fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and some other food. GM plants can be found in butter, confectionery and bakery products, vegetables, oil, baby food, and sausages. These products are not different in taste from the usual, but they cost less. In selling them, there would be nothing wrong if the packaging manufacturer pointed out that this is genetically modified food. A person has to decide what to buy: GM products that are cheaper, or natural products that are more expensive. Despite the fact that such labeling is mandatory in many countries (when the GM content in foods is from 0, 9% of the total volume of goods), such sanitary-hygienic requirements are not always fulfilled. It is strange, especially if GM products are not dangerous as they say.

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Consequences of GMO 

Gene manipulation will inevitably lead to unpredictable and dangerous consequences for plants, animals, environment, and later, the person. Since that time, as GMOs are widely used in agriculture, scientists around the world have engaged in various and, sometimes, conflicting studies about the benefits and dangers of GMOs. Although this problem has been evident for more than 20 years, still no one is able to give a full description of the impact of GMOs on the human body. While scientists have been arguing, the level of GMO in agricultural markets has rapidly increased. The problem with the definition of the effects of consuming GMO remains open. It is facilitated by the fact that the world markets producers of GMO have a strong lobbying. A similar situation was observed with tobacco, when due to the strong ‘tobacco’ lobbying, studies on the dangers of smoking were not discussed for a long time. Today, it is ridiculous even to imagine that some 50 years ago people have spoken of tobacco use. However, at the same time, we are in a similar situation when we periodically read articles about the benefits and the absolute harmlessness of GMOs.

While scientists continue to debate, the facts about the benefits and dangers of GMO speak for themselves: in Sweden, where the use of GMOs is prohibited, only 7% of population suffers from allergies while in the United States, where such products are widely sold without GMO labeling, about 70.5% of the population experiences allergy. Furthermore, there is evidence that the gene loses stability by incorporating within an alien gene which may lead to changes in the chemical composition of GMO and cause the appearance of new properties including toxicity (Koons Garcia 68).

The question of using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is one of the most urgent subjects of the dispute in the scientific world. Despite the criticisms, researchers continue to experiment with the DNA of various living creatures. Thus, at the moment, genetically modified bacterium capable of producing ecologically clean fuel is being developed. Another trend is GM animals and fish. In 2003, the market introduced GloFish, the first genetically modified organism developed for aesthetic purposes and the first pet of this kind. Due to genetic engineering, a popular aquarium fish, Danio rerio, got some bright fluorescent colors. In addition, last year, scientists managed to get a healthy offspring from the transgenic monkeys, and the children of genetically modified monkeys; marmosets also carried the foreign gene. The main difference between the usual small animals and GM monkeys is that their feet glow in the dark with greenish light, which is a result of the introduction of the green fluorescent protein gene (GFP). New experiments are carried out on larger mammals (Parekh 108-122). Furthermore, scientists believe that in 10 years, they will be able to modify genes in humans. The purpose of the experiments is an attempt to find a way to cure genetic disease; but the consequences of future experiments are unknown. I am against such tests; however, scientists are firm in their decision to conquer the nature. Therefore, we can conclude that GMO question will be open for many years.