An Info graphic to the Secret of Agriculture By Zayd H 7A

What are GMOs?

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), or GMM (Genetically Modified Micro-Organism) are organisms with an altered genetic material. This means that the organism contains genes from another foreign organism. It is used in the agricultural industry for many reasons. To make crops more nutritious, to increase yields, or to make them better withstand the cold are just a few reasons GMOs are used today. An example in agriculture would be a tomato that has been given a cold water fish anti-freeze gene to make it withstand and thrive during harsh winter conditions.

GM Crops that are Mono-cropped

Big image

The GMO Perplexity

The Good Aspects

The development of genetic engineering (GE) led to several advances in different industries. For example, the science of making medicine became more clear and several problems were solved. In the agriculture industry, it led to many advances that helped the population of a country and the world. The act of genetic engineering can help feed the growing population of the world, where many people do not have access to food. It also gives us the ability to plant crops out of season. The nutrition in the foods can be altered to have more of a certain vitamin or mineral. Also, the food can be changed so that it does not get affected by toxins from herbicides and pesticides. All these facts make it sound like it is a moral thing to do, but there are many other opinions about the use of GMOs.

The Bad Aspects

Crops that are grown through genetic modifications do have their own set of consequences. First, genetic engineering is still at it's birth. There has not been enough research regarding long term effects on the public. Also, the food is being traded internationally, meaning a large amount of people can be affected if something is wrong with the way the crops were produced. Second, the GM seeds are patentable by companies such as Monsanto. Natural acts such as winds or bees helping reproduce the crops naturally can either put a farmer out of business or make the farmer grow the GM crop developed by that company. Since a certain seed is patentable, and is found in an area where it is unauthorized, the company owning the seed can sue the farmer for all their possessions, or make them grow their crops, making the company own more land. Third, GM crop growing can result in loss of biodiversity. Mono-cropping a plant can make the soil weak and contain few nutrients, whereas crop rotation keeps soil well sustained. Several insects and pests are becoming resistant to the pesticide and insecticide being used in the farms. This leads to the overuse of pesticides and insecticides, which can damage the environment. Lastly, the toxicity in the pesticides being used is harming the consumers. Roundup, the world's most widely used pesticide is the third most commonly reported cause of pesticide related illness. Glyphosate, also known as Roundup, is also eye-irritant to many people.