GMOs – FRIEND OR FOE? (PART 1)

Posted on Posted in Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Education & Advocacy, Green Living, Hunger & Poverty, Policy & Governance, Technology

You may have heard about it; eaten it or grown it. The debate on GMOs and its effects rages on. Although it has been used in countries like the USA and Canada for about 20 years, other countries like Australia, Japan and all of the European Union have banned the cultivation of GMOs. India has a moratorium on them until further testing proves GM technology safe for both consumers and the environment.

As far as GMOs are concerned, there seem to be a lot of grey areas. You may find the following useful:

A Genetically Modified Organism or GMO is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering.

In many cases, GMOs are altered from DNA from other organisms like bacteria, plants, viruses or animals. These organisms are referred to as “transgenic” organisms.

Genetically Modified Foods (GM Foods) or Genetically Engineered Foods (GE Foods) have had foreign genes from other plants or animals inserted into their genetic codes. They have been altered in a way that cannot occur naturally or in traditional crossbreeding.

Potential benefits of GM Foods are that they are tastier, more nutritious and resistant to diseases, droughts and pesticides, or produce an insecticide.

The biggest use of GMO technology is in large-scale agricultural crops. Up to 90 percent of the soy, cotton, canola, corn and sugar beets grown and sold in the United States have been genetically engineered.

A widely used method of incorporating insect resistance into plants is through the gene for toxin production found in the bacterium Bacillusthuringiensis (Bt). Crops that are modified with Bt gene have a proven resistance to insect pests thereby reducing the need for wide-scale use of synthetic pesticides.

ARGUMENTS FOR GMOs

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) states “Indeed, the science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.” In addition, “The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: Consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM [genetically modified] crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”

Monsanto, the world’s largest manufacturer of GMOs in its website point to the benefits of sturdier crops with higher yields. “GM crops can improve yields for farmers, reduce draws on natural resources and fossil fuels and provide nutritional benefits.”

 

ARGUMENTS AGAINST GMOs

The Center for Food Safety calls GMOs potentially “one of the greatest and most intractable environmental challenges of the 21st century.”

A co-owner of Better Health Store, a chain of 14 health-oriented stores, states “In reading the literature, most of the science and myths are not clear and appear to be intertwined. GMOs have clearly impacted our food industry but to what extent the damage is and can be long term, appears to be uncertain and that is a problem.”

According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, a group of anti-GMO activists, “Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studies in lab animals.”

The Non-GMO Project argues “Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe.” Also, “In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.”

 

So, decide for yourself: GMOs – Friend or Foe?

 

OTHER RESOURCES

GMOs: Facts About Genetically Modified Food

World Health Organization: Frequently Asked Questions on Genetically Modified Foods 

The snare of Shoprite in phony ‘regulation’ of GMO foods

 

25 thoughts on “GMOs – FRIEND OR FOE? (PART 1)

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. Your feedback is very important and encouraging. Hope you continue to enjoy My Heart Beats Green.
      Regards!

      1. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give sothneimg back and help others like you helped me.

        1. Thank you very much for your feedback. I am glad you found the posts useful and hope to continue hearing from you.

          Regards & best wishes!

  1. You actually make it appear really easy along with your
    presentation but I find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I’d by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complex and very huge
    for me. I’m looking ahead in your subsequent submit,
    I will attempt to get the hang of it!

    1. Thanks a lot for your feedback. Of course we did not cover everything about the topic in this post. This is only Part 1. We plan to have many more posts on this topic and hope it will help us understand the issue better and take the best actions for our health and the environment.
      Regards!

  2. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your
    blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got
    to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback; it means a lot! It helps us to keep getting better and we hope to continue hearing from you.
      Regards!

    1. Hello and thank you for your feedback! Do you mean articles on this topic or environmental issues in general?
      For a start please refer to the RESOURCES shown in post.

      Regards!

  3. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful info specially the final phase 🙂 I take care of such info much.

    I was looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and good luck.

    1. Thank you very much for your feedback! It means so much and helps us to get better.
      We hope to continue giving you useful information and hear from you soon.

      Regards!

  4. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing in your feed and I’m hoping you write
    again soon!

    1. Many thanks Matilda. I’m so glad you enjoyed the posts and left a comment.
      I’ll be sure to continue writing. Hope to hear from you again.
      Best regards!

  5. Great blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable individuals
    that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *