As of today genetic engineering is used for agricultural, ecological, pharmaceutical, and medical needs. It has saved so many lives all around the world from the food it produces, to the cures it creates. Yet, some still persist this technology is dangerous and should be banned. This article will attempt to debunk these myths that have found their way into so many mainstream media outlets.
Before one can decide whether or not genetic engineering is safe, they must understand what genetic engineering actually is. Most opponents of genetic engineering would not detest it so profusely if they had a firmer grasp of the actual science behind it. Genetic engineering is actually a technique whereby individual genes can be copied and transferred to another living organism to alter its genetic make up and thus incorporate or delete specific characteristics into or from the organism. Does this sound strange? It shouldn’t! Humans have been selectively breeding crops and livestock for thousands of years. This selective breeding is the concept which genetic engineering is based upon. The exciting side of genetic engineering is that it can take selective breeding a step further.
Plants such as tomatoes can be genetically engineered to be larger and stay ripe longer! Corn can be engineered to produce larger ears, to produce a larger yield per crop. It can even take genes from bacteria to make corn resistant to insects, such as corn borers, that normally destroy billions of dollars of crops a year. These are the techniques that could possibly increase the standard of living for humans around the world. All the genes that are placed into genetically engineered crops are first isolated before being transferred to the new organism.
Adversaries of genetic engineering say these genetically engineered corps will cause death and disease. However, engineered crops have been in for food for several years and there have been no adverse reactions. Genetically engineered crops are actually the most monitored type of produce on the market. They have pro-active risk research which evaluates possible side-effects before the crops are even put on the market; and active monitoring which is the actual supervision of the fields and processing of food by experts. The F.D.A. also has to approve of the crops before they can be sold in stores. With no documented side-effects what-so-ever, and such immense benefits, it seems outrageous that protestors are stopping starving people in third world countries from obtaining the wealth that genetic engineering can offer. When the U.S. was offering large amount of surplus produce to starving third world countries, organic food supporters convinced these countries that the food was poisonous, and the produce was rejected!
To say that genetically engineered food is poisonous and deadly is absurd. However, to trick a starving country out of food they could have desperately used is immoral and wrong. Organic food supporters need to realize that are no documented risks to genetically engineered crops. They have proven time and time again to be completely safe. However, it seems to be the real reason for these attacks at genetic engineering stem more from personal views than from actual data and evidence. So, please next time you gorge on some genetically engineered food, think of the great scientists who are helping the entire world with their studies, and help educate those who say that this food is poison.