In our developed society, there are many different problems that related to the health conditions of the populations. In recent years, the raise of different disease that were unknown before make us thing about reasons that caused it. The amount of people who suffer from the disease is growing rapidly with the development of the food industry. The wide spread of the fast food restaurants are causing the real threat to the population. It makes our society weak and dependent on the food. Unfortunately, the quality of the food is not acceptable for the human body. People become consume more food that it was previous. The evidence of this is the fact that the rate of the obesity in the country is critical. On the other hand, the world is facing a real problem of the starvation. There are a lot of people all over the world that suffer from lack of food. “14.5 percent of U.S. households struggle to put enough food on the table. More than 48 million Americans—including 16.2 million children—live in these households” (Bread for the world). The situation in the world is more severe than in the United States of America. In order to fight the food problems like hunger and quality of food, the genetic engineering came up with the solution of the genetically modified organisms. The point is that this breakthrough in the science could upgrade the food industry at the new level. However, the recent debate for and against genetically modified organisms has caused doubts among population about the quality of the products with GMO. They are not sure that the new type of the food is safe for their health. The genetically modified organisms (GMO) could be the solution to many problems that are related to the food production, but providing them in the reality declared a new problems and distrust in the regular consumers.
Genetically modified organisms are organisms, the genotype of which was artificially altered using genetic engineering techniques. This definition can be applied to plants, animals and microorganisms. Genetic changes are generally produced in scientific or business purposes. The main type of genetic modification is currently the use of genes to create transgenic organisms. In the agriculture and food industry under the GMO refers only organisms modified by introducing into their genome of one or more transgenic genes. It is not difficult to understand that the whole industry of the production of food with genetically modified organisms could not be known by the regular users because of the scientific origin.
Among the purposes of the genetic engineers, there are many notable differences. Some believe that genetic engineering industry breeding animals. Others, on the contrary, believe that genetic engineering and selection are the different sciences with different goals. Unlike conventional breeding, which uses artificial selection, genetic engineering applied to derive a new individual a ready set of genes. On the other hand, genetic engineering is not yet able to create an entirely new gene and therefore use only the genes that exist in nature. The rapidly growing population of the Earth raises the threat of starvation. Agriculture is not able to provide people with enough food, because of uncontrolled climate conditions that is not always give a chance to gather a good harvest. Thus, it causes damage to the agriculture. In addition, except the harvested grain, which is used to make food, hay and grain is fed to animals. If, there is no food, it is necessary to use meat of animals. So, the solution with the GMO could solve many problems in the modern agriculture.
The benefits from the GMO to the agriculture are obvious from the scientific point of view. The use of the genetically modified organisms is the reality of the today’s world. The beginning of the third millennium is hard to imagine without nuclear energy, the Internet, nanotechnology microchips, hardware, space exploration, and genetic engineering. Regardless of our attitude to the GMO, its design and development is one of the many ways of the human development on this planet. GMO like any other product of scientific and technological progress can represent the blessing as well as the threat and can pose a serious danger. Today’s consumers are afraid of the impending threat of the transgenic. The social media is frightening the population of the world with "Frankenstein food" transgenic trees that release toxins and destroying all life around; super weeds that are not afraid of the cold and other hard weather conditions. However, it was estimated that between 1997 and 2000, only 12% of the articles on genetically modified plants (GMPs) were based on the results of sound scientific research.Most of the articles in the popular press contained false information or just fiction. Is it really true that genetically modified food has a threat? The emotions and fear of the population is increasing. However, in reality, few ordinary consumers can explain what genetically modified products are.
The first attempt of the creation of genetically modified organisms started in the 70s of XX century. In 1992, China began to grow tobacco, resistant to pesticides. In 1994, the U.S. has developed GM tomatoes and they were able to be not completely ripe for months at a temperature of 12 degrees, and in the heat they become ripe for a few hours. Americans have made changes in strawberries, tulips. The Swiss began to grow maize, which releases its own poison against pests. There are many such examples. Since that time, the production of GMP gained momentum and now we can meet GM soy, potatoes, tomatoes, canola, sugar beets, wheat, rice, peas, tobacco and many others. There were designed cows with milk that had extra fat content, salmon, which can live in both salt as well as fresh water, and many other organisms. Obviously, as a result of a breakthrough in the field of genetic engineering in the 21st century, there were a large number of relatively inexpensive products of animal and vegetable origin. The genetically modified foods would support agriculture, which is particularly important for developing countries.
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From the above mentioned, we can conclude that the GMO is the significant tool to escape starvation and solve many agricultural problems. There are other factors that represent the advantages of the GMO use as follows: it gives high yields; food becomes more nutritious and this is the improvement of the quality of the product; a variety of products in the diet, which leads to better health; for the development countries it is the real opportunity to improve their welfare; the farther development of this industry could lead to the to the rejection of fertilizers and agro-chemical means of protection.
However, all these benefits are under the high risk of the critic, as GMO has many disadvantages. Despite the fact that GMO was initially promoted as a tool to fight hunger, the price of such products is higher. In the United States of America the price on the GMO products is almost higher in three times from the usual products. Certain types of genetically modified plants require a lot of chemistry. This is due to the fact that insects produce immunity. The plants that were designed in the laboratory cannot provide posterity. This forces farmers to be dependent on suppliers. It also is an opportunity for owners of the seed industry to get the monopoly in the industry. Later, when all production will accept the GMO, they will be the only businesses that could provide the farmers with seeds.
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One of the major negative impacts of GMOs referred to the emergence of new types of weeds. This is possible due to the crossing of GMO crops to wild species. These weeds will be different by the special resistance to herbicides. This is due to the fact that the plants are resistant to chemicals and could transmit this property to the weeds. Another equally important issue of GMOs is a gradual displacement of wild animals and plants, and animals that depend on it. Despite the ban of planting the GMO crops in certain areas, the bees can carry pollen to those areas. It is also unclear the impact of the genetically modified crops on human health. The tests cannot fully confirm the safety of such products. A small number of studies have been conducted to determine the effect of GMO on animals. And they were not all successful.
Despite the fact that there are many significant advantages of the use of GMO products, many scientists are against genetic engineering. An important and fundamental difference of genetic engineering is in the fact that the genetic manipulation disrupted the mother cell. It is impossible to fully predict the processes. You never know with precision where the gene gets built. And that means you cannot say what will happen in the future. There is a possibility to provoke the synthesis of toxic substances. There is no clear evidence of the safety of GMO crops. Despite the statement of the producers that the production of the genetically modified food directed against hunger, the production of GM crops is still primarily a business. It is also unclear the impact of the genetically modified organisms on the environment. Because of the possibility of the alliance of genes and genes with virus, there is a risk of a new threat in the form of the disease.
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The European Union has created a special commission to study the effects of GM foods on human health. They concluded that such products are safe for humans. After this, the European countries became to grow crops and import them into other countries. However, the main danger of GMO products is that microorganisms in the digestive tract of people cannot get their genes. Thus, it may be triggered by the growth of tumors. And any benign tumors can at any time become cancerous. “Dr Stanley Ewen, a consultant histopathologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, says that a cauliflower [mosaic] virus used in GM foods could increase the risk of stomach and colon cancers” (Golden Harvest). As we see, different studies have showed different results. It makes us to think about this controversial issue one more time. We have to think about this issue one more time, as the genetically modified organisms are used in the food for babies. Most of the well-known companies such as Nestle and Heinz have never denied the fact that their products have GMO.
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There are other factors that have a negative effect of the use of GMO. It could lead to the increase in inequality between developed and developing countries, between rich and poor. It is possible the development of the resistance to antibiotics. This means that the era, which was dedicated to the antibiotic medicine, goes into the background, because the body becomes immune to antibiotics. It is a threat to biodiversity and the loss of the gene pool, as GM plants can transfer their pollen to the wild plants, which leads to their variability. This can lead to decreased immunity of plants. There is no clear evidence of the sustainability of harvest. One year, it could be a high yield, and suddenly it becomes clear that after two years the productivity is decreasing. It is possible that the manufacturer is not able to implement genetically modified foods because of the reluctance of consumers to buy questionable products. Organic farmers may suffer because of the spread of pollen from the GM plants growing in the area, even at a great distance. It is a violation of consumer rights. People do not want to use the genetic modification in food, but many of the ingredients of these products fall into the food.
In conclusion, it is important to say that there is no one opinion about use of the GMO in food industry. Now, scientists are divided into two camps: the scientists who are actively trying to achieve great success in this area and those ones who are very careful in this matter and assess the progress of GMO as negative phenomenon. Unfortunately, the huge amount of the population, including babies, has to consume products with GMO. And they still do not have clear evidence of its negative or positive effect on human body and environment.