Environmental case analysis

Essay by slickteeUniversity, Bachelor'sB, April 2008

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms (GMO).

I will attempt in this writing to cover the controversy which surrounds genetically modified organisms. This is a very interesting subject in which I had little knowledge of until researching for this writing.

The process of transferring genetic material of organisms into a plant or animal basically sums up what genetically modified organism stands for. The goal of scientist is to create a plant or animal which reproduce specific traits such as resistance to herbicides and insects that will with luck give desired results to farmers and us the consumers.

While these benefits seem high, the debate is still being waged over the safety of modified crops on the population and the environment. Not only are crops being modified but also food supply such as milk and fish. Cows are being given growth hormones in order to help them produce more milk but scientists are finding that it also affects the cow’s fertility rates and lameness in the cows (Newton, Dillingham, Choly, 2006).

Genetic modification of animals is not new: techniques such as selective breeding have been used with great success for centuries. But the advent of powerful new techniques allowing targeted intervention on specified genes has opened up a host of new possibilities - and new controversy.

StakeholdersSimilar to Wal-Mart or other businesses, agriculture is a business and they need to make money to keep the business afloat. Introducing GMO food to market is a lengthy and costly process, and of course biotech companies do everything possible to ensure a return on their investment.

Consumer advocates are worried however that patenting these new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds so high that small farmers and third world countries will not be able to afford seeds for GMO crops, thus widening...