Genetically Modified Organisms – A Critical Analysis

Altering the natural make up the genes of any entity - that govern the physical properties - through a process of genetic engineering to develop distinct and unique organisms is “Genetically Modified Organisms” (henceforth GMO). The main application of these scientific techniques, essentially, have been in the areas of crop, seeds and other agricultural products. Such crops were first launched in the year 1992 in the US. Through the use of nanotechnology and biotechnology agriculturalists are striving hard to improve the nutritional content, resistance capacities and other features that would increase their appeal in the market. Essentially, the GM (Genetically Modified) foods are at the forefront of the modern cutting edge development in the biotechnology industry. Scientists and researchers argue that such techniques if applied correctly can potentially improve the productivity and quality of crops and, going forward, will be able to feed the rapidly increasing global population. However, the controversy regarding such crops from various public interest groups have increased mainly due to experiments which validate that such products can have potentially adverse and harmful effects on natural surroundings.

The agri business industry, a monopolistically competitive industry, is dominated by multinational firms such as Monsanto, Adecoagro and others. The industry has also come under the scanner of environmentalist because of heavy investment in GM foods by such firms. Various religious affiliates have also pressed on such concerns arguing such scientific techniques violate norms of religious rules by tampering with nature. Governments have come under increasing pressure to act and initiate a proper regulatory mechanism to check profiteering behavior of the large MNC’s at the expense of human health. Governments are also trying to establish rules in terms of the best way to monitor the effects of GM foods and firm’s research activities. Basically, innumerable research conclusively point out that plants that seen an injection of foreign genes into their make-up may develop allergies that, if consumed, will inevitably have damaging impact on human health. A number of children have already developed diseases attributed to GM peanuts and other foods.

One important argument given by apologists of GM foods is that the increase in investment of such GM foods is linked with expanding human population. There is a view that the human population will tripe by the middle of this century. It will lead to huge demand and impose heavy burden on agriculture. Therefore, making attempts at innovating the agricultural technique is a must if people are to be fed in the future.


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