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Genetic Modification: Agriculture and Growing Global Population

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The Organic Consumers Association contends that genetic engineering deconstructs basic, fundamental genetic barriers between species. “ By uniting the genes of different and not related species, eternally shifting their genetic codes, new organisms are shaped that will pass the genetic changes onto their progeny through heredity. Animal genes and still human genes are being placed in into plants or animals generating unimagined transgenic life” . Completely new organisms will be created. The association believes that these have the potential to compromise human health and well-being, animal welfare, and the environment. The Health Authorities considers that current farming methods are responsible for many factors leading to ill health including raised fat in diet and obesity.

Coronary heart disease was cited as being the single most common cause of death in 26% of all deaths in the UK in 1991. According to Becker (New York Times, 2004) supporters of Genetically Modified (GM) Farming advocate that GM crops have an increased resistance level; improved nutritional content and any desired change can be achieved in very few generations. These advantages, in turn, benefit consumers in terms of improved flavor, texture and vitamins.

The added benefits to farmers include unproved yields with reduced use of pesticides, the ability to grow crops in a drought or extreme temperatures, and an improved ability to feed the increasing world population at reduced environmental costs and waste reduction. According to Fedoroff and Brown (2004, Pg 98-99), some people contend that the negative publicity that consumer groups generate about GMO’ s is most harmful to the world’ s most vulnerable people— the poor. They say that unlike residents of wealthier countries, large segments of the population of developing countries worry about dying from malnutrition and starvation.

By using GMOs, farmers in developing countries may harvest more crops with less pesticide. Playing on this theme, frequently appearing television and magazine ads have featured rice that has been genetically altered with a daffodil gene.

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preview essay on Genetic Modification: Agriculture and Growing Global Population
  • Pages: 11 (2750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Science
  • Level: Masters
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