GMOs are the Way to Go!

Positives and Potential Benefits of GMOs by Mayuri Raja

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Health Benefits

  • longer shelf life
  • lower fungal content
  • produced using fewer chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers)
  • More nutritious food:
    - low calorie (beets)
    - low saturated fats (oils)
    - high-fiber (corn)
    - high-starch (potatoes)
    - "golden rice" has extra vitamin A
  • genetically modify to add vitamins and minerals
  • add vaccines to plants to allow poorer people to have easy access to them (easier to store/ship)

Farmers' Benefits

Genetically modify plants to...

  • resist pests and reduce losses from insect-destroyed crops
  • resist a single herbicide and therefore allow use of only one herbicide instead of many
  • reduce land degradation and soil erosion through use of one herbicide and "no till" farming
  • reduce losses from sudden frosts
  • resist diseases
  • tolerate drought and salt
  • improve harvests by 5 or 8%, as proven by U.S. soybean yield, without new farmland

Environmental Benefits

Use of fewer chemicals:

  • GMOs can resist pests, eliminating need for multiple pesticides
  • GMOs can resist herbicides, eliminating need to spray multiple herbicides

Possibility of cross-contamination between GMOs and weed resistance can be fixed with a buffer zone of regular crops for insects to feed on

Natural Benefits

  • speeds up the natural process of evolution and gene mixing
  • already occurs and has occurred in history: is the basis of agriculture
  • size, texture, yields, taste already manipulated by careful breeding

Population Benefits

  • best chance of meeting the challenge of feeding the growing population
  • boosts crop yields while keeping land use approximately the same
  • population will double in 50 years: only chance to feed everyone

Safety Benefits

  • most regulated food that is currently on the market
  • thoroughly tested to make sure that the plants are allergen-free
  • three government agencies check genetically modified crops:
    - The Department of Agriculture checks if the crop is safe to grow
    - The Environmental Protection Agency checks if the crop is safe for the environment
    - The Food and Drug Administration checks if the crop is safe to eat