Free Genetically Engineered Foods Essay Sample
The impact of technological advancements in the second half of 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century have not only been felt in the ICT world but also in the agricultural sector. Following this point, the agricultural sector has continued to advance especially with the introduction of the genetically modified or rather engineered foods. The prevalence of genetically engineered foods in the United States' market has been rising at an alarming rate. Notably, consumers in this market, with or without their knowledge have been consuming genetically modified foods. There are many arguments that have been put forth in regard to the importance of genetically engineered foods in the contemporary world especially in dealing with the ravaging effects of hunger in the United States and across the globe. According to Hosansky (2001), biologists such as Adrianne Massey, a biotechnology consultant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, believes that altering the DNA of crops has allowed farmers to increase yields using fewer harmful pesticides while producing far more nutritious foods than those created through conventional hybridization (251). Whereas it is true that genetically modified foods play an important role in the food industry especially in increasing farmers' yields, genetically engineered foods result from altering of the DNA of plants and animals which is a major cause of health hazards, a possible loss of organic seeds and emergency of the 'monster weed' that is resistant to herbicides.
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To begin with, genetically modified foods are becoming the major cause of health hazards that could cause deaths in the United States. Looking at genetically engineered foods from a broader perspective, it can be noted that there are many risks that are associated with it inasmuch as there are benefits. In reality, genetically modified foods result from altering of the DNA structures of seeds and animals by introducing foreign genes thus creating plant and animal species that are more productive. However, such alterations have been found to be harmful to health in the sense that very powerful chemicals are utilized in gene-splicing. These chemicals may cause the cells in the changed foods to begin manufacturing new proteins in quantities that could cause toxic reactions in human beings.
The second effect of genetically modified foods is the possible danger of loosing organic seeds. Notably, there is a growing rate of GMOs across the United States, which was not the case three years ago. As a result of this, consumers are exposed to the danger of failing to access organic foods as a result of the domination of genetically engineered foods in the market. Consequently, the future of organic seeds is uncertain. In reference to Koch (1998), whereas organic growers are enjoying the spurt in demand for organic foods, there is a growing fear that it will be difficult to locate non-GMO ingredients, causing customers to loose confidence in the integrity of packaged organic foods (764). Such fears are valid since even the few available organic foods are at risk of being contaminated with the GMO genes as a result of cross pollination. Such trends are risky since a few years from now there may be a total disappearance of organic food from the market, thus exposing human beings to more danger that results from using genetically engineered foods.
In addition to causing health hazards and extinction of organic foods, genetically modified foods threaten the environment in the sense that with a continued use of chemical, there would emerge 'monster weeds' that are resistant to the herbicides. According to Hosansky (2001), genetically modified foods could increase the resistance of pests to pesticides or transform the genes of wild organisms, creating highly resistant weeds. In line with this, it is imperative to mention that the foreign genes that are introduced in the DNA structure of organic foods and the chemicals that are used may find their way into pests and weeds thus causing an emergence of weeds and pests that are highly resistant to herbicides and pesticides respectively. Therefore, this would create an ecological imbalance that would threaten the existence of the current environment thus increasing the risks that human beings, plants and animals face as a result of tampering with the environment.
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Whereas it is true that genetically modified foods play an important role in the food industry especially in increasing farmers' yields, genetically engineered foods result from altering of the DNA of plants and animals which is a major cause of health hazards, a possible loss of organic seeds and emergency of the 'monster weed' that is resistant to herbicides. First, there are numerous health hazards that are caused by genetically modified foods in the United States. This is as a result of the fact that the chemicals that are used in gene-splicing may cause the plants that are involved to overproduce proteins and other substances that may cause toxic reactions in human bodies when consumed. Furthermore, the use of genetically modified foods in the American society has been on the rise and this would cause organic foods to disappear from the market, resulting in an extinction of organic foods. This is worsened by the fact that cross pollination of genetically modified foods has been found to contaminate organic foods, thus increasing this risk. Apart from threatening the existence of organic foods and increasing health hazards, genetically modified foods also cause ecological disturbance. This is seen in the case of highly resistant weeds and pests that have evolved from being exposed to chemicals used in GMO production.