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What Are Genetically Modified Organisms?

Autor:   •  January 25, 2019  •  1,512 Words (7 Pages)  •  654 Views

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The ethical issues about GM foods include the idea over our right to “play god,” as well as the introduction of foreign material into foods that are abstained from for religious reasons. Some also believe that manipulating genes in either a plant or animal is immoral. When it comes to GMOs, those who are against it have strongly advised for the development of clear labels to aid in informed food purchases (Philips,2008).

GM crops and health

GM crops have the potential to lead to allergic response, toxicity, and organ damage. One example is an anti-GMO advocacy group called the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), which reported that rats fed a diet containing a GM potato had every organ system affected after ten days of ingesting. They stated this was the result of the genetic modification process and not the modified food itself, hence all GMOS are at risk for toxicity (Norris,2015). Potential allergenicity is also a concern to health. Allergies to non-GM foods such as soft fleshed fruit, potatoes and soy are widespread. It is proposed that this is the cause of two factors: genes from known allergens being inserted into crops not typically associated with allergenicity or changing the expression of endogenous proteins (key et al., 2008).

Further steps for future

Nevertheless, scientist will continue to weigh both the risks and benefits of GMOs, realizing that there may never be enough scientific evidence to ensure no risk.

GMOS benefit society when used for purposes such as increasing the availability and quality of food as well as contributing to a cleaner environment. If used wisely, they could result in an improved economy without doing more harm than good. This being said it is important to educate and inform the public about what they are consuming and the potential harms associated with it. This calls for a universal agreement on proper labelling of all genetically modified foods to indicate whether they are genetically modified to help consumers make informed food choices.

In spite of that, the full advantages of GMOs cannot be realized without thorough understanding of the risks associated with each new GMO on a case-by-case basis. As a whole, we need to be better prepared and more information needs to be provided to contribute to the future of upcoming GMOs (Philips 2008).

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Timeline of the introduction of Bt corn into cornfields and the concurrent reduction of insecticide usage in these fields. The two quantities are strongly anti-correlated, suggesting that this Bt crop has made synthetic insecticides unnecessary.

Key, S., Ma, J. K.-C., & Drake, P. M. (2008). Genetically modified plants and human health. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 101(6), 290–298.

Norris, M. (2015). Will GMOs Hurt My Body? The Public's Concerns and How Scientists Have Addressed Them. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from

Gene Transfer in plants using Ti-plasmid. Mcgraw Hill Companies. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

Goldbas, A. (2014). GMOs: what are they? International Journal of Childbirth Education, 29(3), 20+. Retrieved from

GMO Facts. (n.d.). Non GMO Project. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

Day, P. R. (1991). Plant Gene Transfer. BioScience, 41(3), 179+. Retrieved from

Phillips, T. (2008). Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and Recombinant DNA Technology. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

Gewin, V. (2003). Genetically Modified Corn— Environmental Benefits and Risks. PLoS Biology, 1(1), e8.

Klümper, W., & Qaim, M. (2014). A Meta-Analysis of the Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops. PLoS ONE, 9(11), e111629.


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