GMO's vs. The Environment

Kaylyn and Teddy

Authors' Opinion

GMOs are good for developing countries, but not for the environment, so like most things, they are best in moderation.

"The ICSU, the GM Science Review Panel and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, among others, agree that the environmental impact of genetically transformed crops may be either positive or negative depending on how and where they are used. Genetic engineering may accelerate the damaging effects of agriculture or contribute to more sustainable agricultural practices and the conservation of natural resources, including biodiversity"

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How would GMOs positively effect Less Developed Countries?

While GMOs are harming the Developed World, they might be the salvation of the Developing World. The population in developing (less developed) countries is increasing at an alarming rate, and to support all of these new people something must change. An increase in the production of food. Many argue that feeding the poor is simply a matter of improving crop distribution, but to ensure that food will always be available to those who need it, local food production in developing countries must increase. This would also benefit the economy of said Less Developed Countries and increase their independence, leading them down the road of becoming a More Developed Country.

Many people oppose GM tech because they believe it will replace the traditional way of growing crops, but if the hunger issue is to be resolved the world must evolve and adapt to new conditions, it is extremely difficult to rely on just one type of technology. That said, this also means that it is not good to rely on simply GMOs either.

Without GM technology, LDCs will have to resort to more drastic, harmful measures such as fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides.

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How Do GMOs Effect Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is very important to our planet because it keeps the environment sustainable by increasing the diversity in crops. Because of GMOs however, there is loss of habitat. The planet's population is growing rapidly which leads to the production of more food. This displaces animals from their natural habitat.

There are some effects on non-target organisms (such as beneficial insects) due to large amounts of toxins built up in the soil.

The weeds that GMOs have been modified to kill have evolved and adapted to create "super weeds" that can only be killed by extremely toxic like 2, 4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange. Because of GMOs engineering to be resistant to weedkiller, there has been a 15 times increase in the use of toxic herbicides. GMOs are a result of chemical agriculture ,and are developed and sold by the worlds biggest chemical companies. The long term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these organisms cannot be recalled.