Genetically Modified Organisms Essay

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What would it be like to eat a banana and receive a vaccine at the same time? What about obtaining your entire daily iron requirement from a cup of rice? Finally, wouldn’t it be amazing to have fruits and vegetables with a longer shelf life? No matter how futuristic these ideas seem, all of them and so many more are achievable or already have been achieved through production of genetically modified organisms or GMOs. With all of these great possibilities, including bettering the environment, improving the economy, and raising the standard of living for millions around the world with negligible setbacks and opposition, how is it possible to say no to this science? The only thing stopping this science is the fact that many do not understand what it is. To make GMOs a readily known source is to educate the general populous.
Before one can truly understand the benefits of genetically modified organisms, he must understand exactly what they are. Also known as transgenic, genetically altered, or genetically engineered organisms, GMOs are organisms that have been altered in the laboratory to give them certain desired traits - like the infamous Round-Up Ready corn (Whitman 2). This product, produced by Monsanto, is resistance to the herbicide, Round Up. This means that farmers can spray high concentrations of this chemical on their fields to kill weeds and the herbicide will not harm the corn crops. There are currently two ways to create a crop like this: traditional breeding or genetic engineering. In traditional breeding, two organisms with the desired traits are bred in hopes that the offspring will also have that same trait. Unfortunately, this process is not very reliable and is very time consuming. Genetic engineering is quite th...

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Pringle, Peter. Food, Inc: Mendel to Monasanto – The Promise and Perils of the Biotech Harvest New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. Print.
“Pros, Cons of Modified Food.” Wired. Environment News Service. 1 Jan. 2001. Web. 21 April 2014.
Shah, Anup. “Poverty Around The World.” Global Issues. N.p. 1 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 April 2014
“The pros and cons of GM foods.” Prauda. N.p. 15 June 2006. Web. 20 April 2014.
Thompson, Jennifer A. Seeds for the Future: The Impact of Genetically Modified Crops on the Environment. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2006. Print.
“U.S. Imports By Country of Origin.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. Energy Information Administration. 29 June 2010. Web. 20 April 2014.
Whitman, Deborah B. “Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?” ProQuest. Cambridge Information Group. April 2000. Web. 21 April 2014.

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