The Pros and Cons of GMOs – A Heated Debate

gmo versus organic

Are GMOs (bioengineered food) good or bad?

Are GMOs (bioengineered food) good or bad? There’s no easy answer to that one! Here are the pros and cons of GMOs. So you can knowingly join the debate. Recently, Democrats and Republicans have struck a deal to label GMOs, through a national standard for bioengineered food.

The two party agreement means that families and consumers across America will be informed regarding the amount of genetically modified organisms present in their food.

Big food and agriculture companies support a version of labelling provided through smartphone apps. However, not all Americans have smartphones or use such apps.Only 64% of Americans use their smartphone to scan the codes on food products.

Genetically modified foods are produced from organisms which had their DNA modified, to make them more resistant to harmful factors, to make foods more consistent, more nutritious, have longer shelf lives and other such characteristics.

However, gene manipulation techniques have sparked public controversy, because of the human body’s assumed capacity of adapting to or ingesting these genetically modified organisms. There are concerns associated with food safety and environmental impact of these GMOs.

Others fear there is a link between the number of cancers on the rise, and the poor eating habits of people. However, few studies have been made to prove one point or the other.

Previously to GMO technology, foods were given new traits through selective breeding or mutation breeding.

With all the controversy surrounding it, GMO food has a few perks: it’s cheap, easy to grow, looks bigger and better, and could represent a solution to the growing problem of drought in East Africa.

On the other hand, GMOs could be the missing link between our modern lifestyles and the obesity, diabetes and cancer epidemics. However, no important studies have shown harmful effects of GMOs.

The only big study which included GMOs, found that each particular case needs to be separately evaluated by the FDA.There are also differences of opinion between the US and Europe. While the EU supports a stronger regulation of GMOs, the USA is more liberal towards genetically modified organisms.

Now, consumers and families are pushing for better labelling of GMOs in America. More and more people want to know the pros and cons of GMOs. They want genetically modified foods to have clear labels showing what type of genetical engineering was used and the proportion of genetically modified ingredients.

The GMO problem is also one of the issues dividing the EU and the US on the famous free trade agreement which is still under negotiation.

Image Source – Wikipedia