One of the biggest debates in today’s society is in regards to the safety of genetically engineered crops. These GMO foods are included in a number of the products that we eat today. You can also find them in animal feed and in a wide variety of daily use products, like hand lotion. Thanks to genetic modifications, we have been able to grow more food in the world today than ever before. It also means that we may be at a greater risk for health-related issues because the foods we are eating have been artificially modified.
There are some definite pros and cons in regards to the use of genetically engineered crops. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages that GMO’s provide.
The Pros of Genetically Engineered Crops
1. Foods taste better and have a better quality.
Thanks to genetic engineering, the flavors of all foods can be enhanced. Sweet corn can become sweeter. Hot peppers can become hotter. Even foods that have difficult flavors to them can become edible to a wider amount of the general population. This provides humans with more overall food options that they’ll actually like to eat.
2. They are more resistant to diseases.
Crops that have been genetically engineered can become more resistant to the issues that disease can bring to a farm every season. In many ways, the genetic engineering that occurs in the crops is like giving a human a vaccine. Instead of giving a plant a weakened or dead virus, genetic engineering provides specific encoding that allows the plant on a genetic level to withstand the disease.
3. There is a higher nutrition value.
In many parts of the world, it can be very difficult to get the vitamins and minerals that are needed for adequate health. When genetically engineered crops are introduced to the food chain, these vitamins and minerals can be added quickly and easily. This makes it very affordable for the average person to be able to have good health and maintain it.
The Cons of Genetically Engineered Crops
1. They may cause damage to the environment.
There are certain places in the world that are just not conducive to the growing of certain crops. By introducing genetically engineered crops that have been specifically created to withstand difficult conditions to lands that would normally not support them, that environment could be damaged permanently.
2. There is no true economic advantage.
Genetically engineered crops take just as long to mature and grow fruits than their non-genetically engineered counterparts. This means that there is no actual economic value in growing modified crops when compared to crops that have not been modified.
3. They may increase food allergies.
Multiple research studies have shown that food allergies are on the rise in every cultural demographic. This is difficult for those who get the allergies because it limits their eating options. If someone develops an allergy to soybeans that have been genetically modified, then they also can’t eat animal protein products that were fed the same genetically modified soybeans.
Genetically engineered crops have made it possible to feed more people than ever before. The only problem is that more people than ever before may be getting sick from the food that they are eating. Are these crops a good thing to grow? In some areas, the answer may be yes. In other areas, however, the answer may be no.