Gene Modified Crops: Boon or Bane?


Biotechnology is used as the root word for all the tools that make use of the living organisms (or parts of the organisms) to manufacture or modify some products, improve the quality of plants, trees or animals for specific uses. Some of the traditional applications where biotechnology is being used are in the making of cheese, bread, artificial food agents, etc. Modern applications include culturing or growing of cells under constraint environment for research purposes or making genetically modified crops for food, fiber and fuel. When you try to search for ‘GMO’ (Genetically Modified Organisms) the results that often pop up are GM crops, but genetically modified organisms are more than just plants. In the GM crops, the DNA of the plant cells are modified with some other organisms so as to change the specified behavior of the plant.

Here, we will go through some of the benefits of GM foods

  • The crops that are grown through the genetically modified organisms are capable of producing foods that are long-lasting and good to taste.
  • Scientists have worked on the GM crops and have changed one of the genes that have increased the efficiency of photosynthesis, this has helped the farmers to have higher yields.
  • Further benefits of GM crops is that they are immune to pests, insects, worms etc. and are also able to withstand harsh weather conditions such as frost, drought and heat.
  • This also leads to the growth of more crops in the same place that leads to higher yield in the same place.
  • These GM crops have helped the farmers to increase their economic gains but the health of the consumers are getting severely affected.

Some of the ill effects of using these GM foods are:

  • Most of the developed countries have already banned the use of GM crops or have directly put them under strict regulations. As GM crops are the unnatural way of growing plants, there were chronic diseases being seen in human beings such as skin allergies, food allergies, various disorders of the digestive tract and reproductive system.
  • Various researches have been made which suggest that GM foods are responsible for significant damage to liver, kidney and have increased the level of blood sugar.
  • Doctors have already asked the patients to avoid using GM foods for consumption. Although the seeds that are grown through the genetically modified methods have resistant towards various pests, weed, and insects over the time this happens in a vice-versa way i.e. the pests and insects become resistant.
  • This leads to using stronger chemicals by the farmers which in turn leads to deterioration of the soil quality and severely affects the quality of foods that we eat.

These GM foods are being sold to people without putting labels on them. At Least people should be aware of what they are consuming. In India, BT brinjal are being sold without informing the people, and many people faced health issues by consuming these foods. The government should take serious actions regarding the distribution of GM seeds.

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