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The potential benefits and risks of genetically modifying food.

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In this essay I will be looking at the potential benefits and risks of Genetically Modifying Food. The idea of genetically modifying food is, and has been, a subject of great debate for quite a while now, and all over the world GM food is available to buy. The argument for and against GM good is split into 4 main groups, the group that think GM is the way forward, and the way to reduce famine, increase health etc, the group that thinks that GM food is the way forward because it increases efficiency, i.e. no pesticides needed, faster growing, better yields etc, then there are the 2 groups against GM foods, those who fear GM foods to be damaging, and that we should only eat organic, and then there are those who believe that GM foods is playing god. ...read more.


93 percent of the cases studied, the actual goal of genetically modifying food is maximizing profits from industrial-scale food production and processing. Even companies that are against the idea of genetic engineering in foods have benefited from the GM debate. For example families concerned about their health and environment have, over the last few years started to turn to organic food as a safer alternative to GM (or even just food that could be GM). From its humble origins as a small niche market, organic food has grown into an increasingly large industry. (www.greenpeace.org 1997) Some major advantages to genetically modifying foods is the ability to make agriculture cheaper in the long term, i.e., fast growing plants, plants that develop seeds quicker, have larger yields, contain pesticides, store for longer, or need less water. These modifications could all be good, for example, having plants containing their own pesticides would decrease the amount of chemical pesticides needed to be used on a crop, this is much better for the environment. ...read more.


herbicide tolerance, modified starch types Although this kind of genetic engineering of plants may have side affects to the surrounding environment, is also possible to use genetic engineering to increase nutritional value of foods, for example, increase the amount of a vitamin created in a plant. This is useful because increasingly, young children are eating less and less 'good' food, and it is important for children to get as much nutrition as they can. Therefore, if food was more nutritious, people would need to eat less of it to get the same amount of nutrients. (Biological Sciences Review) In conclusion it is safe to say that at present the benefits of genetically modifying food out weigh the risks, however the technology is in its infancy and future detrimental effects of eating modified foods are still unclear, it is also hard to predict what affects GM crops could have on the environment once the modified genes are released into the gene-pool. ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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Response to the question

The response to the question is done well and the focus of the essay is also very well correlated with the question. Organic food however, is on the decline, so the candidate should consider this in their analysis of the ...

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Response to the question

The response to the question is done well and the focus of the essay is also very well correlated with the question. Organic food however, is on the decline, so the candidate should consider this in their analysis of the foods.

Level of analysis

The candidate introduces the topic well, but they should have provided an explanation for what GM food is to show their understanding of the topic. The candidate accurately examined four different groups and their approaches to GM foods, although the way they mention the topic is quite casual so I would change the tone of the essay to suit the scientific essay format. The conclusion is adequate because it ties up loose ends in the essay and makes a valid conclusion based on the evidence presented. The candidate shows good depth of scientific research throughout the essay.

Quality of writing

The candidate repeats their title on the second page, which shouldn't be done because it looks untidy. Punctuation, grammar and spelling all done to a good level.

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Reviewed by skatealexia 30/08/2012

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