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Imagine going grocery shopping when a red bright apple in the food aisle catches your attention. Suddenly you notice the “GMO” sign. Confused, you place the apple back to where it was not knowing GMOs are a benefit to the environment rather than a nuisance. Although many objects to modified organisms, people like Yves Carriere, a GMO expert, think “Scientifically, they are positive and safe” (qtd in Potenza). It is important to be educated on what GMOs are to avoid confusion. Apples, soybeans, and rice are all crops that are being sold to the public as “GMOs”. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) refers to the process of altering DNA from crops and animals in order to acquire desired traits that are not naturally inherited (Freedman 4). Speculation of genetically modified organisms has been surrounding them since the late twentieth century when GM foods were stocked in grocery stores. Krimsky, a bioethicist, says GMOs are “product pioneers of a new biotechnology agricultural sector” (Price). GMOs are contributing to improving the world by reducing food shortages, controlling outbreaks that affect crops and altering crops to have favorable traits.

Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, farmers have been relying on cross-fertilization, hybridization, and grafting. However, cross-fertilization is the most used method to enhance characteristics(Freedman 10). Cross-fertilization enhances characteristics such as being pest resistant, having more flavor, and having the ability to survive catastrophes. To further knowledge, genetically modified medicine has been used for several years (“GMO: Problem”). “Twenty- three countries, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico now grow genetically modified crops” (Freedman 21). GMOs are used widely for their worldwide impact that offers consumers to shop more quantity for a lower price and it is a tool to reduce world hunger. These factors contribute to the popularity of GMO use by people who seek to change the world. In addition, farmers have been using genetic engineering to improve the quality of their crops. Surprisingly, Josh Krusgal, author of Mixed Messages Muddle Student Attitudes on Genetic Modification, stated, “Genetically modified crops have been marketed and sold to the public since 1994” (Kruskal). 1994 was the beginning of the rise of “Frankenfoods” which serves as a tool to fight against plagues and famines that occur all around the world.

World hunger is a problem faced by the majority of people living in poverty; However, GMOs are seen as a solution to end the casualty. GMOs benefit crops and people by providing food at a cheap price and protecting crops from destructive pests. Moreover, GM crops can also prosper in extreme weather (Freedman 25). GMOs benefit crops to prosper in extreme weather and plagues caused by pests. Alternating crops to be pest-resistant results in having a healthy batch of crops. In addition, food prices are reduced which becomes affordable to people of low-income. GMO foods are said to provide environmental advantages, lower prices, and decrease world hunger according to GMO food advocates (Mclntosh). These three problems are caused by the same problem which is plagues. When plagues of pests occur there is a loss in a commodity which results in increasing prices. Consequently, high prices strike in poverty and lead to an epidemic of world hunger.

Not only does GM food benefit the environment, but it also ensures affordable prices to people who live in poverty. Both the growing population and changes in global temperatures have contributed to food shortages in Africa since 1945 (“GM Food: The Battle”). Overpopulation and climate change are the factors that contribute to world hunger in Africa. As a result, Nigeria, an Africa country, has become the poverty capital of the nation. However, GM crops are changing the negative effects of climate change by creating crops that survive the extreme temperatures which cause droughts to occur. Not only do GMOs withstand climate change, but GMOs are also used to benefit people who lack nutrients due to poverty. GMOs have a good potential, for example, the rice DNA being altered to have VItamin A. As a result, genetically modified rice has helped reduce blindness in parts of the world that suffer from poverty (“GMO: problem”). Moreover, genetically modified crops are seen as the light at the end of the tunnel to solve world hunger

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The pesticide has been reduced and GM crops now survive catastrophes by altering their DNA. Catastrophes such as plagues, droughts, and climate changes have been avoided because of DNA alternating. GMOs are beneficial in terms of developing crops that survive droughts. Moreover, they reduce insecticides; GMOs reduced insecticide use in crops by 45 percent. (Potenza). Furthermore, Insecticide usage has helped the plants to prosper by alternating their DNA to include pesticide in their system. Altering a crops’ DNA helps to preserve them in the condition in order to sell in supermarkets and for customers to buy. BT, a gene from soil bacteria that makes it toxic to insects, has been added to tobacco and rice. As a result, BT reduces labor for farmers, for they do not spray additional insecticide (“Genetically Modified”). GMOs give desired genes to provide them with an enhanced trait. As a result, bacteria have been used to protect corn from harm caused by insects (Freedman 8). Farmers choose the desired traits which help crops from being damaged by pests.

Farmers bred crops by choosing favorable traits such as flavor, proportion, and pest resistant (Price). These characteristics are favored by both farmers and consumers because taste and size are what naturally grown crops, such as tomatoes lack nowadays. Therefore, farmers choose traits that are eye-catching to the consumers to make a greater profit; The majority of crops are now genetically modified to have the perfect taste and right size GMOs come with advantages such as, combining the best traits together and speeding up the process of making an improved crop (Freedman 15). It is common for people to cry when an onion is chopped. However, Vegetables have been modified to make more essential vitamins. For example, Crop and Food Research genetically modified and onion which prevents people from crying when it is chopped (Freedman 50). Thanks to the help of genetical modified, people’s eyes will not suffer the consequences of cutting onions.

Moreover, have you ever encountered a section full of rotten tomatoes? It sure ruins one’s appetite, but biologists have created “Flavr Savr tomato, a more flavorful and durable than an average tomato” (Price). Food spoiling makes companies lose money and increase the price of food. However, GMOs help farmers by conserving and selling food before it spoils. Therefore, scientists are implementing fruits that ripen on the tree (Freedman 27). Genetically modifying crops benefit farmers and companies by selling their products before it spoils at a cheaper price. How do farmers do this procedure? GMOs come with advantages such as, combining the best traits together and speeding up the process of making an improved crop (Freedman 15).

Not only do biologists genetically modify crops, but they also help people and animals from diseases by altering their DNA. A researcher from Seoul National University has successfully genetically modified a cow to combat mad cow disease (Freedman 30). This disease causes people to get brain damage by eating mad cow contaminated beef. This shows the importance of GMOs, diseases like a mad cow can harm people which can cause consumers to develop dementia or lead to their death. People who consume cow beef are at low risk of developing mad cow disease because scientists altered cows’ DNA to combat the disease. Consumers are now safe from getting mad cow disease because cows are going to reproduce an offspring that lacks the gene which produces mad cow disease. Aside from preventing diseases to get out of control, scientists are now transferring human genes into goats to help goats produce an enzyme. As a result, the enzyme combats the infection that causes diarrhea (Mcintosh). This is an example of how genetically modifying is used as an advantage to prevent animals from suffering.

Conclusion

In brief, you will now know the story behind the big bright apple with the “GMO” label when you spot it at the supermarket. The apple symbolizes the beneficial impact it has provided to the environment and the way GMOs are changing the world by increasing quantity for less cost. Furthermore, GMOs are a solution to end world hunger by providing poor communities with affordable food. “Today 94 percent of Soybeans and 3 percent of corn planted in the U.S is genetically altered — and most of it ends up in processed foods” (Potenza). This is an increase of GMO usage since the beginning of their existence, twentieth century. Food shortages and outbreaks are now decreasing with the help of altering crops to have favorable traits. Consequently, Micheal Gray a GMO expert at the University of Illinois, “think[s] that [genetically modified] crops are here to stay” (qtd in Potenza).     

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