Thursday, March 30, 2006

Genetically modified food

Nowadays, we are becoming more and more ahead and eating genetically modified food without even knowing that we do. But with the increasing awareness these days, people have started to question the effects of these foods on their health and whether they can be consumed safely.

On one hand, biotechnology companies and some scientists say that these crops are produced in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. In addition, they argue that GM foods are more cost-effective because they are using less pesticides and herbicides and a yield much more crops than the usual ways, so it can help the developing countries by solving the problem of hunger and poverty as the products are more and cost is less. Furthermore, specialist in agriculture have said that using the technology of GM crops will allow efficient use of existing farmland thus it will help to preserve more natural habitats. Moreover, GM crops can be enriched with nutrients, in that way it may benefit human health.

On the other hand, organic farmers are complaining of being out of work and they are afraid from destruction of their trade if GM foods flood the markets with their cheaper products. Friends of the environment also have some debates around the issue, they said that the ecological balance could be affected in some way by tampering with Mother nature. In addition, they are a bit concerned about the use of pesticides and herbicides on resistant breeds which could lead to a paradoxical increase in their use. Other campaigners point to the unpredictable health risks that may happen. They also assure that these crops will not help the developing world as the cause of hunger is not scarcity of food but its the maldistribution of food; however, they believe that these crops will only benefit big biotechnology companies.

In my personal opinion, I totally agree with the first party who says that GM food is very helpful because I think that modified foods have been used for centuries in many ways such as crossbreeding, eliminating of weaker varieties, etc. and if we had not done that we would probably be eating grass instead of the variety of food crops that we are enjoying now.

Ehab Al-Shelly
IELTS Preparation

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