According to conventional definition, genetic engineering refers to the process of indirectly manipulating an organism’s genes, through the use of techniques such as molecular cloning or transformation, in order to alter the organism’s structure and nature of genes. And like any other science, genetic engineering has its pros and cons. Let’s take a close look at the effects of creating GE potatoes.
Parent Worried About Feeding The Family Genetically Engineered Potatoes
According to genetic engineering advocates, the genetic modification of plants and animals is used for creating totally new strains or proteins, to make the plant or animal resistant to diseases and infections, as well as to make the organism adapt to changing weather or climate and environmental conditions. Genetic engineering is also done to increase the food’s medicinal value, and also to make it easy to create available homegrown vaccines.
In these times, crops such as rice, corn, soybean, tomato and potato are commonly genetically engineered to create new strains and enhance nutritional qualities, as well as increase yield. Genetically engineered potatoes and other crops are expected to attain a capacity to grow on soil that’s not presently suitable for cultivation. The modification of a plant’s genes is also done to improve its nutritional value, as well as its rate of growth, and enhance its taste too.
However, environmental advocates and public interest groups are calling on the government to strictly regulate the genetic engineering sector, and they also like regulators to require genetically engineered crops to be labeled before these are sold in groceries or supermarkets. The labeling of GE food, according to consumer advocates, is crucial because consumers have a fundamental right to know what they are eating. However, the existing rules on food safety state that unless a product has been proven to have the possibility of causing allergic reactions, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires no labeling of genetically modified foodstuff such as potatoes.
Why The Debate Over GMO In Food Is One-Sided
The current debate over GMO in food has crowded not only lecture halls and scientific forums, but has also spilled over into the media, as well as the Internet. According to critics, genetically engineered crops may take over natural weeds; which can prove fatal to natural plants. Undesirable genetic mutations may also lead to the development of allergies in crops, as well as hamper the nutritional value of the food, while enhancing only the taste and appearance.
Overall, critics of GE food point out that modification can eventually hamper the diversity both plant and animal life. Cloning may pose negative and irreversible effects over the individuality of a plant or animal species, and such processes can also make food costs spiral beyond the reach of ordinary consumers. While some agree that genetic engineering may work wonders on issues like hunger and poor harvests, genetic modification still remains an artificial process which distorts nature, and alters a thing that’s not originally made by humans.