GM Foods - arguementative essay

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12 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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Tonglin Pu

A
rgumentative essay


OUTLINE (Plan A)



1.
I
ntroduction:
explanation

of what GM food is.

2.
B
ackground ground paragraph: why GM food is popular

3. Pro A:
pest resistance



P
ro B: the price of GM food is lower


Pro C: GM food has more nutrition

4. C
ounter
-

argument paragraph about diversity, nutrition and ecosystem.

A.

GM food would result in environmental hazards.

B.

GM may bring human health risks
to us.

C.

GM food may influence food chain of ecosystem.

5. Conclusion: brief summary plus the prediction of improvement of GM technology.



G
enetically
M
odified Food
I
s
M
ore
B
eneficial
F
or
P
eople
T
han
O
rganic
F
ood

A
s we all know, t
he world population
is
rapidly increasing year by year

and is
also
predicted to double in the next 50 years. Ensuring an adequate food supply for
this booming population is going to be a major challenge in the years to come.

S
cientists find that

GM foods promise to meet this nee
d

and it

has been more and
more popular not only for the producers but also for the consumers

because of its
numerous

advantages such as
pest resistance
, lower price, more nutrition and so on.

A
lthough it is undeniable that GM food still has some challenges to overcome
including environmental hazards, human health risks, influence on food chain of
ecosystem and so on, the trend for the
development

of GM food will not be stopped
since these diffic
ulties
are quite

n
egligible
.


In
order to have a deep and comprehensive understanding of GM food, let

s
firstly focus on what the GM food is.
F
rom the definition,
t
he term GM food

or
GMOs (genetically
-
modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to crop
plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology
techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired
traits such
as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. The
enhancement of desired traits has traditionally been undertaken through breeding.
Genetic
engineering
, on the other hand, can create plants with the exact desired trait
very rapidly and with great accuracy. For example, plant geneticists can isolate a
gene

responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different plant. The new
ge
netically
-
modified plant will gain drought tolerance as well. Not only can genes be
transferred from one plant to another, but genes from non
-
plant organisms also can be
used. The best known example of this is the use of B.t. genes in corn and other crops.

B.t. crystal protein genes have been transferred into corn, enabling the corn to produce
its own pesticides against insects such as the European corn borer.

(
Deborah B.
Whitman
, 2000)
F
r
om what has been demonstrated above, we could conclude that
GM food could have desired traits through
genetically

modified process.

I
nitially, let

s concentrate on the reasons why GM food is so attractive to people
and how does these virtues maintain pest
resistance, lower price and increase
nutrition.

I
t is certainly obvious that c
rop losses from insect pests can be staggering,
resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing
countries. Farmers typically use many tons of
chemical pesticides annually.

On

the
other hand,

Consumers do not wish to eat food that has been treated with pesticides
because of potential health hazards, and run
-
off of agricultural wastes from excessive
use of pesticides and fertilizers can poison the

water supply and
lead

harm to the
environment.
H
owever,
Growing GM foods such as B.t. corn can help eliminate the
application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of
growing crops.
F
or example,
as we put the anti
-
insects gene into plants, these part
icular plants would automatically
gain the pest resistance and prevent themselves from infected by harmful insects.
I
n
this case, GM technology would not only save much money which was spent on
pesticide

but also reduce the risks of absorbing

harmful chemi
cal substances for the
producers.

F
urthermore, GM technology would also increase the production of crops by
being incorporated
some

powerful multiplying genes into their original gene
sequences.
(Knut J. Heller, 2004)

A
s a result, with the supply of crops increasing a lot,
the price of these things would absolutely decrease according to the economic theory.
T
herefore, more and more people would afford these cheap foods so that GM food
actually makes a large contribution
to overcoming the global hunger for developing
countries.
I
n this way,
disseminating

the GM food is an essential
and
necessary

trend
for

developing countries.

Finally
, the best advantage for our health is that GM food could have more
nutrition than general

food. It is well known that m
alnutrition is common in third
world countries where impoverished peoples

just

rely on a single crop such as rice
for the main staple of their diet. However, rice does not contain adequate amounts of
all necessary nutrients to

prevent malnutrition. If rice could be genetically
engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies could
be alleviated. For example,

r
esearchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Institute for Plant Sciences have c
reated a strain of "golden" rice containing an
unusually high content of

vitamin A
.

(
Deborah B. Whitman
, 2000)

In this case,
GM
technology

make
s

the nutrition combined food assumption true and
develops a
significant way to prevent malnutrition.

A
lthough GM food holds so many advantages which are illustrated above, some
people still argue that GM food would arose
environmental hazards, human health

risks, influence on food chain of ecosystem and so on.
T
hus,
government

should
limit the study and supply of GM food no matter in the lab or in markets.

F
irstly,

let

s focus on the most common
disadvantage

about the environmental
hazards.

Biologically,
c
r
op plants engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will
cross
-
breed, resulting in the transfer of the herbicide resistance genes

from the crops
into the weeds.

These "superweeds" would then be herbicide tolerant as well. Other
introduced genes may cros
s over into non
-
modified crops planted next to GM
crops.
(Farid E. Ahmed, 2004) Besides,
Just as some populations of mosquitoes
developed resistance to the now
-
banned pesticide DDT, many people are concerned
that insects will become resistant to B.t. or
other crops that have been
genetically
-
modified to produce their own pesticides.
(Sibel Roller, 1998)
A
s a result,
these disadvantages would directly or indirectly destroy the species equilibrium of
environment so most of the opponents suggest to stop using

GM technology
for the
sake of protecting the ecosystem equilibrium.

T
hen, there are also some concerns that indicate the human health risks for the
GM food mainly on the allergenicity and some unknown effects on human body.
A
ccording to a research, t
here
is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant
may create a new
allergen

or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
F
or instance, a

proposal to

incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was
abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic
reactions
. (Farid E.
Ahmed, 2004)
On the

other hand, t
here is a growing concern that introducing foreign
genes into food plants may have an
unexpected and negative impact on human
health.

A
n

article published in Lancet examined the effects of GM potatoes on the
digestive tract in
rates and it

claimed that there were appreciable differences in the
intestines of rats fed GM potatoes and rats fed unmodified potatoes.
(
Deborah B.
Whitman
, 2000)

Finally
, there are also some
argume
nts

which report that GM food may
influence the food chain of ecosystem.
I
n biology, as a new species get involved into
a group, the gene pool of that group will modify from one
generation

to another,
which may result in a large genetic
variety

in this gro
up.
A
s a
result
,
the unexpected
genetic variety may bring in a huge
-
scale death for this
species

group.
I
t is
undoubted that this huge
-
scale death of plants would kill many predators feed on this
plant, which would ultimately damage the entire food chain o
f ecosystem.


I
n sum, g
enetically
-
modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world's
hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment
by increasing yield and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and
herbicides.
Many people feel that genetic engineering is the inevitable wave of the future and that
we cannot afford to ignore a technology that has such enormous potential benefits.
However, we must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm to

human
health and the environment as a result of our enthusiasm for this powerful technology.


Reference
s

James J.(1984).

The Future of Vegetarianism.

Retrieved from

http://www.compassionatespirit.com/future
-
of
-
veg.htm.

Deborah B. Whitman
. (2000).

Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?

Retrieved from

http://www.csa.com/discoverygui
des/gmfood/overview.php



Whitney, M. T. (2007). Most foods that display fruit on packaging don’t actually
have fruit, study finds. NaturalNews.com. Retrieved from

http://www.naturalnews.com/021557_food_foods_food_packaging.html


Linn, L. (2009). Big Ag Forces Farmers to Buy GE Seeds, Report Says. Retrieved
from

http://www.newwest.net/city/article/big_ag_forces_farmers_to_buy_ge_seeds_rep
ort_says3/C8/L8/

Harris, N.
(2004). Genetically Engineered Food. Farmington Hills, MI:
Greenhaven Press.

Knut J. Heller. (2006). Genetically Engineered Food. Federal Republic Germany

Sibel Roller. (1998). Genetic Modification In The Food Industry. South Bank
University, London, UK

Farid E. Ahmed. (2004). Testing of Genetically Modified Organ
isms In Food.
Food Products Press.