Essay Example on Whether or not GMOs are good has stirred up Controversy









Whether or not GMOs are good has stirred up controversy in scientific communities A GMO genetically modified organism is a plant or animal that has had its DNA altered by people Bessen 2015 Although the contributions made by genetic engineering are widely accepted in the field of medicine they have raised many concerns in fields of agriculture and nutrition In this essay I will explore the reasons that which the use of GMO s is actually positive These arguments will include the benefits of GMO s in areas of agriculture medicine and how this technology can help conserve the environment With the help of GMO s agricultural producers have been able to control the traits that are expressed in their crops Genetic engineering will benefit agriculture by increasing the yield and quality of crops protect and in turn improve the industries in which they are used For example crops have been engineered to contain a gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis better known as the Bt gene This gene is capable of producing a toxin that kills small insects and is commonly found in insecticides WHO 2014 When plants are engineered with to produce the Bt gene themselves there is no longer a need to spray insecticides on them 

This lowers the quantity of insecticides used which is cost efficient as well as beneficial to any unintentionally harmed organisms And now that the crops are virus resistant higher yields of the crop being produced can be expected This was best shown in the Bangladesh when the production of eggplant was threatened by worm called the fruit and shoot borer Al Jazeera In order to combat this worm farmers used vast amounts of insecticides to spray their eggplants with These old school insecticides were so toxic they were banned in the USA other Western countries Al Jazeera The excessive but necessary use of these insecticides were harming the health of farmers and therefore economically hurting the industry Finally the creation of an eggplant with the Bt gene was introduced This resulted in lesser pesticide use and expenditure and higher yields and profits for Bangladeshi farmers Al Jazeera These eggplants along with other crops that contain the Bt gene are not poisonous to humans Neiderhuber 2015 Hence the use of a GMO has not only improved the yield of a crop but in turn has protected an industry along with human health without harming them in any way After seeing how GMOs have not damaged our health let's explore how they have improved it Genetic engineering has been quite substantial in the field of medicine 

One of the major examples in which a GMO has been used to save lives is with insulin Insulin regulates glucose levels in diabetic patients Torres Perrez The first recorded case of this treatment was when Fredrick Banting and Charles Best extracted and then implanted dog insulin to a 14 year old patient suffering from type 1 diabetes and ultimately saving his life Junod 2007 Years later in 1982 the FDA approved the medical use of the GMO of synthesised human insulin which was patented as Humilin Rangel 2015 This insulin was made with genes from the bacterium E Coli Torres Perrez Modern insulin can also stem from other sources like other mammalian cells or plants Torrez Perrez Now genetically modified insulin is used to treat those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and is essential in prolonging their lives This GMO is quite significant considering that there is about 415 million people who are diabetic today diabetes co uk 2017 As technology progresses the future benefits of GMO s have endless possibilities With the threats of climate change and pollution being of global concern genetic engineering can be used to respond to them Scientists are currently in the process of engineering plants that will better adapt to changes of erratic weather and adverse soil conditions For example a genetically modified corn has been recently introduced in Tanzania Even after a month of receiving scarce amounts of water the corn still appeared to thrive and look as healthy as corn in healthy conditions Lynas 2017 

This trial shows how crops can be engineered to withstand droughts and other extremes GMO s can also be utilised to protect a species from going instinct Chestnut blight is a disease that has caused the near extinction of American chestnut trees A team of scientists have recently developed a new chestnut seed which is 99 999 identical to the original wild chestnut tree However these new seeds have been engineered to contain a gene extracted from wheat called OxO which produces the enzyme oxalate oxidase This enzyme can defend plants against the chestnut blight and other fungi related diseases like it as it is found in many common fruits and vegetables also proving it is not harmful for human consumption Powell 2016 However further research and the cooperation of agencies like the FDA the Environmental Protection Agency and the U S Department of Agriculture will be needed to start this recovery Professor William Powell one of the scientists who created the genetically modified chestnut seed believes it can serve as a model system for protecting our forest s health Restoring forests by restoring species like the American chestnut can eventually decrease greenhouse gas emissions protect endangered species and improve quality of life Holland 2017 Deforestation carries crucial consequences in the present and future but genetic engineering shows promise in rehabilitating the planet we have damaged so much already

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