If you are wondering what are the pros and cons of GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms, believe me you are not alone. A majority of population is in doubt regarding this new technology and as far as the arguments in terms of its pros and cons are concerned, it’s hard to decide the associated risks.
Before discussing about various pros and cons related to GMOs, let us first know what exactlyis GMO.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)
In European Union, a GOM is defined as an organism, with human beings as an exception, whose genetic material has been altered in such a way that be done by natural mating or natural recombination.In EU it is illegal to intentionally release a GMO in the environment. Moreover, the food items which contain more than 1% GMO are needed to be labeled.
This alteration in the genes is done by inserting some genetic material in an organism in a laboratory in the absence of natural mating, reproduction, or breeding. Instead of breeding 2 animals or plants for getting the required trait in the offspring, the resulting GMO will have the traits of the species whose genetic material is inserted in it.
Pros Of Genetically Modified Organism
The actors which favor the GMO technology are:
- It enables the growth of crops with higher yield, less pesticides and fertilizers and more nutrients.
- Traditional breeding is very low as it takes several generations before the desired trait is broughtout effectively in the offspring. Moreover, the offspring needs to reach sexual maturity before it can be bred. However with GMO, the genotype which is desired can be created within the current generation itself.
- GMO technology tends to be more predictable than the traditional breeding. Whilst traditional breeding involves the process of random transfer of thousands of parent genes to the offspring Genetic breeding transfers discrete blocks or genes at a particular time.
- GMOs might not be natural, but everything natural is not always healthy and everything unnatural is not bad either.
Cons Of Genetically Modified Organism
Some of the factors which go against GMO are:
- Studies have shown that GMOs are very dangerous to rats. When genetically modified corn and soy was fed to rats, it leads to liver and kidney problems in them. While the results shown by rats may not be relevant to humans, it proves that GMO are unfit for livestock and wildlife.
- Safety tests of GMO are short-termed, which is not long enough for proving whether a substance is safe for the human consumption in long-term scenarios.
- These products contain novel proteins which in some casesmight trigger allergic reactions in humans who are allergic to the GMO entirely or are allergic to one or two constituents of GMO.
- Plants and animals modified geneticallycould interbreed and may lead to growth of wild populations or off springs which showcase dangerous traits.
- Whilst some GMOs are fit for human consumption, it does not necessarily mean that all of them are safe. Each new GMO has its own risks and benefits.
Since now you are well aware of the advantages as well the disadvantages associated with the GMO, the decision is all yours.