Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are becoming more and more popular and, as a result, can be found more often in available in supermarkets. These are the organisms, which were deliberately altered in laboratory conditions in order to enhance the final product genetically. GMOs growing popularity led to several controversies as there are many beliefs that consuming products containing foreign DNA may result in severe health issues. In reality, the widespread use of GMO products affects many people around the globe as its production involves many industries. The key point of this research is to assess the GMOs, its production, those it affects and possible negative consequences of its consumption and production.
Genetically Modified Organisms and Chemistry
GMOs production is deeply integrated into chemistry. The process of creating a genetically modified organism involves genetic engineering as the main tool. It involves taking DNA out of one object and then planting it into another. This helps to develop a more resilient product, which enables its cheaper production. For instance, American farmers prefer growing genetically modified crops as they do not require the use of traditional farming methods and, thus, help to avoid soil erosion (Ujj, 2016). Therefore, GMOs go hand in hand with chemistry due to their involvement in creating new organisms.
GMO Usage around the World
The popularity of Genetically Modified Organisms varies across the globe. Many countries have laws and regulations put in place concerning the production of GMOs. Countries like China force GMO producers to deliberately label their products to inform consumers (Zhu et al., 2016). Therefore, this explains the variation in the attitudes towards genetically modified products in different countries and, thus, their popularity.
Furthermore, farming methods also differ across the countries, which directly impacts the range of modified products available to the consumers. For example, American farmers produce triple the amount of GMO crops grown in Europe (Ujj, 2016). The main reason behind this is the resilience of these crops to herbicides, which are used in U.S. agriculture to eradicate weeds (Ujj, 2016). In addition, the use of more resilient crops helps farmers to stop applying pesticides, which leads to the loss of biodiversity around farmlands (Agostini et al., 2020). The popularity of GMOs in transforming farming into a cost-efficient process boosted its spread as it ultimately led to cheaper food available to consumers.
Health Issues and GMO Consumption
Ever since GMO products gained in popularity and started to replace organic food on supermarket shelves, various conspiracies arose around its consumption. There are many bold statements concerning the harm of eating food with modified DNA. All of them can be summarized into a single idea that consuming GMOs leads to severe health issues. However, there is no single evidence that would prove these claims (Hicks, 2017). Therefore, this leads to the obvious conclusion that there consuming genetically modified food will not have any consequences for one’s health.
To conclude, the research showed that the main reason for the popularity of GMOs is their use in the production of food. Genetically modified crops enabled farmers to produce food in larger quantities at a lesser cost and, thus, cheaper for the consumers. Moreover, it was established that all the claims about the connection of GMOs and health issues remain at a conspiracy level, which does not stop certain countries from introducing labeling legislation. Future research should try to establish a relationship between economic welfare and the use of GMOs and cover the different technologies used in the production of Genetically Modified Organisms.
Agostini, M. G., Roesler, I., Bonetto, C., Ronco, A. E., & Bilenca, D. (2020). Pesticides in the real world: The consequences of GMO-based intensive agriculture on native amphibians. Biological Conservation, 241, pp. 1-3.
Hicks, D. J. (2017). Scientific controversies as proxy politics. Issues in Science and Technology, 33(2), p. 67.
Ujj, O. (2016). European and American Views on Genetically Modified Foods. The New Atlantis, (49), pp. 77-92. Web.
Zhu, X., Roberts, M., & Wu, K. (2016). Genetically Modified Food Labeling in China: In Pursuit of a Rational Path. Food and Drug Law Journal, 71(1), pp. 30-58. Web.
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