• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Genetically Engineered Crops

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sheena Lee Cox Dr. Gaskins, EN-140 Position Paper, first draft 23 Nov. 2004 My Position on Genetically Engineered Crops The subject of genetically engineered crops is highly controversial. Some groups, especially owners of large-scale farms, support them fully. However, small farmers and people with health concerns oppose them. While the U.S and Canada have approved a large number of genetically altered crops, some countries in Europe have restricted or even banned them (Warnock). I believe that there is a more moderate way to view this issue. There are many advantages, as well as disadvantages, presented by these crops. I feel that both must be considered equally in order to make decisions that will accommodate the views of both supporters and opponents of genetically engineered crops. At this point in time, I believe that a future with genetically engineered crops should be regarded with cautious optimism, and by labeling genetically modified foods we will allow consumers to decide whether or not they wish to purchase such products. The world population is growing at an ever-increasing rate, and supplying that population with enough food is becoming more difficult. Genetically engineered crops can help solve this problem. Such crops could yield a significantly greater amount of food per acre than a normal crop would, thus greatly increasing the available food supply. In 1999 more than one third of the United States' corn crops were genetically modified. ...read more.

Middle

This can greatly increase the risk of allergies into plants. For example, in 1996 the Brazil-nut gene was inserted into soybean plants to improve their content for animal feed. This proved to be a nearly fatal combination for people who were allergic to Brazil-nuts (Bakshi). Studies have shown that genetically altered plant have lower concentrations of phytoestrogen compounds, which protect against cancer and heart diseases. This may indicate that genetically engineered foods have less nutritional value. One example of this is in cow milk. When cows are injected with gamma bovine growth hormone (rBGH) higher levels of fat and bacteria are present in the milk, thus causing it to spoil faster. This can alter the cellular metabolism of the cow. Therefore, stopping its ability to make important vitamins and nutrients, which are normally synthesized naturally in non-genetically engineered foods. In my opinion, both of these points can be tackled by placing strict government regulations on the quality and safety of genetically engineered crops. Agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) exist for exactly this purpose; to guarantee the safety of the foods we consume (Jaffe). Genetically modified foods should be tested and proven safe, just like any other product that is placed on the market in today's society. For example, cars must be inspected to ensure they are safe to drive. ...read more.

Conclusion

In January of 2000, one hundred and thirty countries adopted the Biosafety Protocol, which requires that genetically modified foods be labeled by exporters (Odabashian). However, the problem is that the United States doesn't require that genetically modified foods be labeled if they are not exported or imported. Large corporations are controlling the labeling of genetically modified foods because they are afraid that their sales will decrease if they are forced to label such products. However, the National Opinion Poll says different. During a poll taken in 2001, 44% of consumers said that they would buy foods that were labeled as genetically engineered, while only 18% stated that they wouldn't and 38% percent said they did not care one way or the other (Bruskin Research). Large corporations shouldn't be worried if their products are truly 100% safe. In conclusion, I think it is too soon to reach a final verdict on genetically engineered crops. Food production is arguably the most important industry in the world. Without enough food to support the population, our society would crumble into chaos brought on by famine. However, it is unthinkable to allow farms to produce food that is potentially harmful to consumers. At this point, there is simply not enough information to completely support or oppose the growth of genetically altered plants to be used as food. Until more is known about the positive and negative impact of such plants on consumers, the environment, and the economy, it is safest to label genetically modified foods in order to allow the consumer to decide and to be cautiously open-minded towards the issue. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Food Technology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Food Technology essays

  1. I will look at six existing products which are already available and evaluate how ...

    The illustration shows a close view of the chicken pieces, and this emphasizes that the meal is big and that the consumer will get value for money. This may be misleading if the chicken pieces and the whole dish does not appear to be as large and will therefore not

  2. Group Preliminary Report - The McDonald's

    > Image - McDonald's has successfully created a friendly image which impressed most of the customers and people. Characters are created to promote the warm image to the public. Ronald McDonald, Birdie, Hamburglar, Grimace are deep in the heart of every child.

  1. Animal and plant diversity

    The main animal characteristic of euglena is its motility, but it also can absorb form its surrounding environment. Euglena also has a red eyespot that detects light. The eyespot directs euglena to a light supply enough for photosynthesis to occur; this process is the same as a plant making its food.

  2. There has become an increasing demand for single portion food products - I will ...

    I also found out that people want their single portion food products to be used in an oven; if I am to cater for this percentage of families I must not use plastic packaging. Plastic packaging materials should not be used at all in conventional ovens; this is because they

  1. Globalisation and regulation of food risks. A theoretical overview.

    Hyperglobalists main concern is therefore, that the political reorganisation is lagging behind the economic reorganisation because the political institutions from the era of the nation-states are no longer capable of regulating global flows of goods and capital. Thus in their view new global political institutions are needed to counterbalance global

  2. Health Report.

    Having high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. 6. Hypertension---was your continues drinking of coffee is due to pressure of work? If yes, then I can tell you that excess caffeine only makes you more nervous.

  1. The Cook-Chill Process - Research

    * Alchohol is used from fruits, e.g. peaches in brandy. * Smoking is a way of preserving fish and meat, e.g. smoked salmon. * Spices are used to preserve meat, e.g. salami. Freeze Drying (FD) * Food is frozen and dried under vacuum.

  2. Arts & Culture Play - "CTA", set in South Africa

    (All cast must get up if seated and begin to walk) Scene 3 - Skills To Use (All cast make their way to the top of the hill, and sit) N: The recruits investigate the cultural heritages of one another, and see what what are their strengths.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work