What is a GMO? GMO stands for a Genetically Modified Organism. A genetically modified organism can be a plant, animal, or another organism that has an altered genetic make-up by the use of modification technology. GMOs have been a debate for a while and still continue to be a hot topic of discussion. Below you will find both points of views on GMOs, but at the end of the day, the decision is up to you.
- May not Harm Human Health
A common study looked at is the one conducted by scientists at National Institute of Toxicological Research in Seoul, Korea that fed rats either GMO potato or non-GMO potato. To analyze the health effects of GMOs on the rats, a histopathological examination of tissues and organs was conducted after the rats died. The exam showed no differences among the two groups of rats (Non-GMO feed and GMO feed). Many modifications in several crops have been tested, and numerous studies have come to the conclusion that there is no underlying evidence that GMOs lead to organ toxicity or any other detrimental health effects.
- Prevents Starvation
GMOs lead to an increase in yield due to successfully combating stressors from the environment. For example, many places around the world are facing drought which leads to lower production of crops that do not grow well in high temperatures. Higher yields lead to increase in fuel for both animals and humans. The human population is growing rapidly, and humans are living longer than ever. We will need an increase of food to keep the human race up and going strong!
- Positive Environmental Impacts
Many individuals do not realize how reliant farmers are with both pesticides and herbicides with “normal farming.” These chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) are responsible for the majority of the damage to the environment. With GMOs, the amount of both herbicides and pesticides are decreased due to the crop being able to naturally recognize particular pest. With less of these harmful chemicals being used, this will lead to less contamination of the environment: water and soil.
- May Cause Harm to Human Health
There are several concerns from the safety reviews of GMOs including the development of new allergies and the escalated toxicity level. The allergy developments come into play with the resource that is used to produce the GMOs. If the resource is known to for allergies in humans or has yet to be consumed by a human, this could lead to an immune response being sparked. As for the increased toxicity level, this is seen when inserting foreign material into a plant. This can lead to higher production of toxins, which could be hazardous for humans.
- Harm to Social and Human Rights
Monsanto, the primary company responsible for the production of GMOs, has hit the cover of the news quite a few times. Whether it be for anti-trust/monopoly issues to not properly informing consumers with GMO labels on products in grocery stores and food markets. The Monsanto company motto might be “Producing more, conserving more, improving lives.”, but the company’s actions lead to a different interpretation. This company is designed to maximize profits, not benefit the general population. This business model was innovated to deceive farmers into economic dependence on Monsanto, which would never allow farmers to go back to “normal farming” after their land has been taken over by the RoundUp product.
- Harm to the Environment
The environment is an ongoing concern in this day in age. With GMOs in the picture now, environmental concerns such as pollution and wildlife. Pollution is on the rise, but even more with the use of GMO crops. In North America where GMO crops of soybean, cotton, and maize are grown on acres of land, the number of weed killers have continued to rise. This increase can be seen by the growth of sales of RoundUp as well as the company’s expansion with new factories being built. Wildlife is frequently harmed by the human race. For example, in the U.S., there has been a large reduction of the well-known Monarch butterfly due to losing their habit by the use of RoundUp Ready GMO crop with the weed killer: glyphosate.