GMOs: Advantages vs. Disadvantages
According to the World Heath Organization (WHO), Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are defined as organisms, which DNA has been altered in a non-natural way. For instance, Genetically Modified plants (GMplants) are usually altered to be resistant to insects, virus and tolerant to herbicides. With these changes come some potentially problematic environmental challenges that are being the center of some ethical and environmental.
For instance, toxicity is a huge issue surrounding chemical pesticides and herbicides. Besides, the long-term effects of GMOs are not certain. And there are lots of concerns and questions about how GMOs could harm biodiversity and ecosystems. What is more, GMOs are the main topic of some social and ethical debates as well.
Furthermore, it is stated that GMOs are more questioned within the food production market; however, people are more comfortable about the fact of using GMOs in order to improve the medical features of some plants.
On the other hand, some studies show Genetically Modified Plants as the basis of food quality improvement and biopharmaceutical production. In fact, it has been proved that new species produced by the gene technology approach are beneficial for society by producing healthier food products for maintaining health or preventing diseases. Actually, some GMOs are suitable products for patients suffering from allergies. It is also mentioned, that GMOs improved food products quality by providing more balanced diets. In fact, products with a more appealing and marketable appearance that require less energy during the producing process. What is more, fruits and vegetables with improved life projection produce less waste. Moreover, it is stated that the economic benefits resulting from the application of biotech seeds and the associated production technologies usually outweigh the additional costs. However, it is important to mention that in the case of GM plants control is more flexible and cost-effective, and pest-related yield loss is usually lower compared to traditional varieties, thus the production cost per tone of harvested GMOs is lower.
Nowadays, many positive aspects have resulted from the use of GMOs within food quality improvement and biopharmaceutical production. Actually, the increase in agricultural productivity has made it possible to supply the world population with food of suitable quantity and quality. But, GM plants have been cultivated for approximately one and a half decades and on an ever-increasing area. Therefore, people basically still do not have enough experience gathered over a sufficient period to ensure reliability on the process and products. More time is required in order to answer some questions regarding GMOs such as; GM plants can create future virus variants that can be harmful to nature; or, people are also concern about the fact that biodiversity could be in danger by the cultivation of GM plants.
(ERVIN BAL.ZS, 2011) (Marris, 2001)
ERVIN BAL.ZS, Z. B. (2011). Plain Facts about GMOs. SZEGED: ERZS.BET FEJES.
Marris, C. (2001). Public views on GMOs: deconstructing the myths. European Molecular Biology Organization , 545-548.