By: Nischay Hegde
Edited By: Laiba Lakhani
The argument that organic crops are safer than GMO crops rests on the flawed premise that due to their genetic modification, GMO crops lead to health issues. This is an oversimplification, but it seems to be the basis for the argument. In fact, this argument is commonly mistaken with the use of pesticides, which can be harmful if the crop is not washed properly prior to eating. In fact, genetic modifications can replace the need to use pesticides because the plants automatically repel unwanted bugs. Genetic modification of animals and humans is a controversial topic, due to the fact that people lack an understanding of its full effects. However, this emerging technology can propel health and medicine to astronomical levels. In light of all of this, genetic engineering does more good than harm.
Genetically modifying plants helps provide a more abundant food source. A recent report indicates that about half of the soybean crop in the United States is genetically engineered. The United States is the world's largest producer of soybeans and the second-largest producer of corn. By creating a genetically modified soybean genome, farmers can increase the number of soybeans they produce through pest resilience and faster growth time. The corn seed industry has also taken notice of the genetic modification; About 90 percent of corn seed sold in the United States is genetically modified. Genetically modified corn has been used since the 1960s to protect against insects and herbicides. The use of genetically modified corn has increased dramatically in the past few decades. In the late 1980s, just 1 percent of the total U.S. corn crop was genetically modified. By 2006, that number had increased to about 28 percent. The U.S. corn crop produces about two-thirds of the world's supply of corn. The Food and Drug Administration will have to approve any GMO crops in the U.S. The approval process is to ensure that any modifications to the crop do not render it unsafe to consume.
To add on, genetic engineering of humans in the future can improve their health and lifespan. Editing the human genome is an area of technology yet to be explored. Humans may be able to make humans more resilient to diseases and health issues. Altering human genetics can also make humans stronger and more physically capable. These are areas of technology that are going to revolutionize medicine. Things like curing cancer and increasing lifespan are all possible with gene editing. Scientists are just one step away from making necessary investments in the research and development of genetic engineering that will advance humans’ lives for the better.
To sum up, genetic engineering does more good than harm for the reasons previously stated. It can help provide food for the hungry and healthy food for those with diseases that are not curable. It can make crops more resistant to pests and diseases. It provides farmers the ability to produce more from the same amount of land. In short, genetic engineering is a wonderful technology that has the potential to benefit humanity in ways that we can only begin to imagine.
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