2019-11-15

Genetically Modified Organisms

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are produced when one gene is transferred from one organism to another in order to alter the new organism (Ecogenetics Editors 1).

The transfer of genes to create desirable traits is done through several methods. Selective breeding occurs for instance, when a plant possessing desirable traits is selected and bred to produce more plants containing desirable traits. On the other hand, the transgenic method entails the physical movement or addition of genes expressing the desired trait to another plant for the purpose of developing that certain trait in the plant. This method is usually done on farm plants in order to produce genetically modified crops (GMCs), which are resistant to insecticides and herbicides (GMO Editors).

Genetically modified seeds (GMS) are considered to be an important milestone in agricultural research. Gene modification is performed in terms of DNA insertion into the seeds. Despite the efficiency of the transgenic method on GMCs, some agricultural experts perceive that such gene combination may have serious environmental and health impacts which may be neglected in the process (Kruft 1; Matoni and Katarere 309).

Genetically modified seeds have potential benefits which farmers should be aware of. Some of its positive impacts in agriculture are increased crop yields, increased profits and reduced use of herbicides and pesticides.  On the other hand, GMS production may also have drawbacks as that of limited rights to maintain and reuse the seeds, the difficulty of preserving the identity of GMS, a binding arbitration (a contract that stops farmers from filing lawsuits in case there are problems on the seeds), development of weeds and insects due to GMS mutation into “superweeds” and “superbugs” and most of all, harm to other organisms (Kruft 1-2; 309-311; Makoni and Katerere 309).

It is thus important to continue the research on GMOs since it has shown significant positive effects on agriculture and health in general. Though such methods are limited to traditional farmers, it would be best if farmers themselves will be educated regarding new methods of advancement in agricultural research as this would help them yield more viable crops in the future.

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