Since the advent of agriculture, individuals have been genetically modifying seeds. By selecting the plants with the best possible yields, we have spent generations slowly growing vegetables and fruits that produce more for our consumption.
Recently, with the advent of direct genetic modification, it has become much easier to play with the genes of the plants, creating seeds with surprising new qualities. Known as genetically modified seeds, the implementation of these seeds as well as the ethical concerns surrounding their creation and use have spurred a debate. Below are some of the leading pros and cons regarding this fascinating subject.
The Pros of Genetically Modified Seeds
1. Seeds Created For Increased Yield
Genetically modified seeds have been created that dramatically increase the yield of the plant. This means that with the same plot of land, a farmer can now produce noticeably more crops. Though genetically modified seeds may cost more then regular seeds, the genetically modified alternatives have a higher yield chance, meaning that they can pay for themselves. When the market and demand is right, this can mean significant gains for the farmer.
2. Seeds Created For Specific Climates
Genetically modified seeds can also be produced for specific conditions or climates. For example, drought resistant seeds can be used in places with little water to ensure healthy crop growth. This can dramatically decrease hunger around the world.
The Cons of Genetically Modified Seeds
1. The Costs of Seeds Are Dependent on the Provider
Only a few companies are in charge of creating and selling modified seeds. With a near monopoly, this means that there are few choices available to those buying seeds. The end result is that the prices can remain artificially high.
2. Seeds Cannot be Used to Replant
Genetically modified seeds do not create viable seed offspring by design. This means that every time you want to plant a new crop, you have to go to the company you originally bought the seeds from. While this is great for the company, it means that any interruption of supply can deny an entire crop season.
3. The Type of Seeds Are Patented
Because genetically modified seeds are a patent, you can only use them with the express permission of the original creator. This has led to court action when genetically modified seeds blew in the air and became planted in other farmer’s fields. The repercussions of such legislation are still being worked out to this day.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.