Advantages

The negative connotation associated with GMO’s is not entirely accurate; in fact, there are several advantages.

One example is golden rice. Genes from bacteria and daffodils can be put into rice to make it enriched in Vitamin A[9], which is extremely beneficial to third world countries where there is a high mortality rate for children with a deficiency in Vitamin A.

Another benefit is increased crop yield for farmers. Monsanto is company that produces genetically modified crop seeds, for farmers to buy, that will produce crops tolerant to the herbicide, Roundup[8]. This reduces the amount of herbicide needed to be used and is very cost effective. Monsanto produces GM seeds for soybeans, corn, rice, cotton and wheat.

Monsanto’s BT cotton is tolerant to insects because the inserted genes result in the plant’s ability to produce insecticides. Crops were typically sprayed 8 – 10 times with insecticide, but with the BT cotton it only needs to be sprayed 1 – 2 times. Again this is very cost-effective.

Monsanto also claims they continuously look for new genes to prevent resistance build-up in weeds and such[8].

There are concerns about the safety of consumption regarding unknown allergenic effects since the genome is being changed. The World Health Organization claimed, “No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market” [13].

Additionally, GM foods currently on the international market have passed risk assessments, and in countries where they have been approved, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of consumption by the general population.

The World Health Organization believes different organisms with different genes made by different methods make it so generic statements cannot be drawn about all GM foods. Safety must be assessed on a case-by-case basis[13].

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