GE Foods: Are organics really a better solution?

Essay by SuespxCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2006

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A heated debate in the Biotechnology industry is the issue of genetically modified or engineered foods vs. organics. Not only must we take into account the health issues, but the environmental impact and the effects on the market. Though many would argue GE foods are more affordable, nutritious and have a longer shelf life, do we truly know the long term effect of these foods? How does the presence or lack there of certain pathogens or vaccines in our foods effect the development of our immune systems? Does whatever doesn't kill us, really make us stronger?

Genetically Engineered Foods

The main goal of GE food is to increase yield, but not only do we want more of a product, we want it to last longer, taste better and be nutritious. Through plant transgenesis, we are able to make products with desired traits and then clone them. The results include a plant that is resistant to insect damage, herbicides and disease, and recombinant, thus mass reproducible.

GE foods could solve world hunger and cure the common cold, so what's the problem?

There are many health and environmental concerns that go along with Bioengineering. Most concerning is the spread of artificial genes or antibiotic genes. If targeted to the wrong bacteria or animal, results cold be disastrous as in the case of the Monarch Butterflies. Others fear that antibiotics could spread to disease causing bacteria, creating a resistance. Studies are also being done to show the harmful side effects of artificial genes. Doefler (1998) reported that fragments of artificial genes inserted into foods were detected in the brain cells of baby mice.

Even still, GE foods are made for the greater benefit of man kind, right? So why are they patented? Is that really to the benefit of poorer...