Genetically Engineered Foods: Are They Really Helpful?
Genetically engineered foods (GEFs) are a very controversial topic. Some think genetically modified foods better our society by providing pest, herbicide, disease, cold, and drought resistance. Nutrition and pharmaceuticals can also be added to the crops. Others think we're better without them. Genetically engineered foods greatly threaten the environment and its species. There are many economic concerns and unknown effects of crops. Although genetically engineered foods have many benefits, the potential damage they do still outweighs the benefits.
Genetically modified organisms relate to crop plants for human and animal consumption by using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides and pests. Growing genetically modified foods such as corn help eliminate chemical pesticides, but consumers do not like to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of potential health hazards.
Crop plants genetically engineered to be resistant to a powerful parasite could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed (Whitman 2000). These corn crops can greatly help the environment. Some crops are also engineered to resist cold and drought. An antifreeze gene has been introduced into plants such as tobacco and potatoes. These plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings. Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content, soil, and groundwater can help people grow crops in abnormal conditions (Whitman 2000). These crops would help many of the third world countries that are suffering from hunger.
Crops can also be engineered to contain more nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Rice does not contain adequate amounts of necessary nutrients to prevent malnutrition. If rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies...