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Over the years, I noticed when I am watching a news program in the television or browsing in the Internet ,news about food price hike, diseases and illnesses, world hunger and malnutrition, agricultural loss and food wastage, and extreme weather phenomenons are increasing and escalating. These news typically revolves about our health and our food and agriculture.
Some of these news are still fresh in my mind like the news about the "cocolisap" outbreak in our country few years ago.
As the time runs, our technologies that can address these issues and problems are becoming more innovative and more effective. One of these is Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO) through genetic engineering.
Genetically Modified Organisms such as plants or animals that their genetic material has been changed through genetic engineering. GMOs may have a new new traits introduced into them such as resistance to some species of pests and diseases, higher chance of survival in extreme environmental conditions like drought, increase in harvest, or resistance to chemicals like herbicides and pesticides.
From my perspective, genetically modified organisms as food can help us address problems like food wastes and agricultural loss, world hunger, malnutrition, health decifiencies, and food price hike.
Our food can be genetically modified to be resistant to pests and diseases, to thrive in extreme weather conditions, and last longer thus minimizing food wastes and agricultural loss. Fresh products like vegetables becoming rotten in supermarkets and being thrown away, and crops devastated by floods and droughts can be avoided through GMOs.
Also, with this innovation, we can make our food healthier like the golden rice (rice enriched with beta carotene which is absorbed by our body as Vitamin A),and more abundant harvest that can help lessen world hunger, malnutrition, and illnesses caused by nutrient defiencies.
Less pesticides, water, etc. and less space and labor, which can be a big help in agricultural sector to spend less can be achieved by GMOs. This can lead to cheaoer food prices.
GMOs may have adverse risks and effects, I can't deny that, just like any other forms of technology. On the bright side there are ways to reduce and avoid these effects and risks.
One risk of GMOs in agriculture is gene flow that may cause genetic defects if the DNA of GMOs is mixed with the normal organisms but it can be prevented by using buffer zones and terminator seeds.
Another risk is chemicals present in our food. Back then, I thought that GMOs are just enhaced wuth chemicals and are synthetic so I think they are poisonous. Now, I learned that GMOs have the same risks as the natural ones.Genetically modified plants like BT corn contains natural pesticides. It only kills insect so safe for us besides less artificial pesticides are used on them. The used of herbicide(Glyphosate) may increase with GMO plants. I think, it is still helpful because of reduction of fertilizers by eliminating competitors for nutrients. To my mind, we can avoid this herbicide in our food by preparing, washing, and cooking food properly;and after all Glyphosate is safer than other types of herbicides to humans.
I don't see problems with GMOs as our food. But I think, there are in the ones who produce them because they can control food supply and prices. I hope they can help address global issues and problems with their capabilities of producing genetically modified organisms.
After watching the two videos entitled "Are GMOs Good or Bad?Genetic Engineering and Our Food" and "Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever-CRISPR",there are new knowledge learned,opinions changed, and perspectives changed. Technological advancement in Genetic Engineering like the Genetically Modified Organism(GMO) can be effective solution to fix problems in the fields and sectors of health, agriculture, environment, business and industry if used with pure intentions, ethics and morality and greed in business, politics and power aside.
It's my schoolwork in Biology II. I shared this because we are somehow involved with problems stated above and some of us may still not aware of GMO. I want to share my opinion, reflection, learnings and view about this controversial topic.