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gm food

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Introduction

Genetically modifying food is becoming a highly controversial issue these days. Some scientists believe that Genetic Modified Food (GMF) can benefit the community in a great variety of ways, while others believe that it can do a great harm to the environment and human health. In addition, GMF raises many issues in regards to religions, ethics, law and many others. More importantly, what we should be concerned is whether having the ability to genetically modify species gives us the right to do so. Before we go on any further, it is extremely crucial for us to fully understand what exactly genetically modifying food is all about. Humans have been genetically modifying food for thousands of years, but the method they used is different from the genetic modification that we use nowadays. In fact, genetic modification is only a new scientific breakthrough of the 20th century. The ancient method of genetically modifying food is known as "selective breeding", which in more scientific terms is to cross hundreds or thousands of genes. Selective breeding has been used for a great variety of things, ranging from crops to animals. For example, if a farmer is to grow large potatoes, he would first plant a plot of potatoes, and select the seeds from the largest potatoes and plant them again to observe their performance. After repeating the same methods several times over a period of time, the farmer would eventually end up with a strain of large potatoes. By utilizing the method of selective breeding, people have also been able to develop crops so that they become highly resistant to some type of fungus or insects, as well as increasing the amount of yields. ...read more.

Middle

The problem is that the food is being distributed unequally. Countries such as the US would dump their extra food into the sea rather than distributing them to some poor countries in Africa. This is caused due to their ego of controlling the market price of the food. However, in fifty years time, it is predicted that the global population will have reached 9 billion, countries are likely to become more industrialized with little emphasis on the agriculture. As a consequence to this, we are very likely to go through the crisis of food shortage. However, with genetic modification, we can possibly produce even more food, within the least amount of space as possible. In addition to this, humans may eventually use the genetic engineering techniques to develop a type of food, which contains all the necessary nutrients to keep us healthy, while the food has a great variety of range of tastes, in order to satisfy a larger number of consumers. Scientists have also made a scientific breakthrough by transferring animal genes to plants. A well known example is that scientists have successfully created a frost-resistant tomato plant by transferring the antifreeze gene from a salmon. The result of this indicates that crops, which originally cannot be grown in cold or hot countries can now be grown anywhere, without any restriction due to the difference in the climate. This way, countries no longer need to import fruits or grains from other countries, which means that the food would be a lot cheaper since there is no tax involved, thus it is more economically beneficial for the consumers in the long terms. ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems that India wants to adopt GMF and obsolete the traditional agriculture, because with the poverty, and their exploding population, they do need to find a way to feed everyone while being economically beneficial in the long terms. In this case, since they have trouble feeding the population already, they are not likely to be concerned about the negative consequences. GMF is certainly an important issue amongst many religions. One of the greatest concerns about GMF is that people have serious ethical objection and believe that genetic modification is playing God, which in their opinions should be forbidden. Looking at this from a neutral point of view, people should not have the rights to ban genetic modification researches, because otherwise it would seriously affect the future development in this area of science. Instead, what people should do is to refuse buying GM products if they are personally against it. However, a lot of this comes down to the labelling of GMF. Labelling of GMF is also another important issue, which could cause many problems, in terms of health issues, ethical concerns and religious concerns due to the lack of labelling. Yet, there are no mandatory in some countries, such as in the US, thus many people are buying products containing GM ingredients without being aware of it, due to the lack of labelling. Ethically speaking, companies should not be using the technique of "lack of labelling" to make profits for themselves. In a free society, I really think that the consumers should have the rights to know what they are actually buying so that they would at least have the chance to avoid it if it's totally against their morals. ...read more.

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