Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Synthesis Essay

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Synthesis Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1205
Topics: Food, Food Security, Genetic Engineering, Genetics, GMO

The issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) continues to generate endless controversy in terms of food safety. On the other hand, the need for double food production globally is one that is constantly pressing, leaving many at a crossroads on whether or not to explore the engineering option. Nonetheless, most nations have embraced GMOs. With the heightened prevalence of GMOs in the recent times, many questions continue to be raised. These questions often revolve around the safety and viability of these GMOs and the process behind it all as well as its pros and cons (Lane et al.,2014). The wider public, however, remains largely unfamiliar on what benefits and detriments come with GMOs. This has further led to countless misconceptions on GMOs.

Need a custom paper ASAP?
We can do it today.
Tailored to your instructions. 0% plagiarism.

Genetically modified organisms refer to organisms whose genetic content has undergone alterations through genetic modification techniques commonly referred to as genetic engineering. In this process, the genetic composition of an organism is altered. Genetic modification occurs in both animals and crop plants. The practice of modifying organisms by way of genes dates centuries back. Selective breeding, for instance, was one form of modification that most farmers relied on. Selective breeding, also recognized as artificial selection, enabled people back then to rely on plant and animal breeding to achieve certain phenotype traits (Alberts et al., 2013). Selective breeding was introduced by Robert Bakewell who relied on his native stock of sheep for sheep that was fine boned. The same experiment was applied by him to breed his cattle too.

Genetic engineering is a process whose purpose is broad and significant. With regards to crops, genetic modification is undertaken with the aim of achieving a particular desirable trait. Such traits include resistance to certain elements or an improved yield. Genetic engineering entails a process that utilizes bacteria and viruses to implant into organisms a desired gene or genes (Dibden, Gibbs & Cocklin, 2013). The ability of traits to be activated or deactivated is therefore what drives genetic engineering.

We can write
your paper for you
100% original
24/7 service
50+ subjects

For decades, people have often tried certain forms of genetic modification in both animals and plants through traditional breeding means. This artificial selection of certain desired traits, for instance, through having borne fruits, has proved to be limited to only variations that occur naturally. In this regard, the advent of genetic engineering and the role it plays cannot be overlooked (Alberts et al., 2013). The advancement in genetic engineering has occasioned precision in terms of controlling the desired genetic changes to be effected in an organism. As a result, it has become possible for the incorporation of new genes between completely unrelated species.

Agricultural performance has as such been immensely optimized. Though genetic modification happens in both animals and plants, agricultural plants have proved to be the most genetically modified. Some of the notable purposes genetic engineering has served is the increase in crop yield, reduction in the cost of food and drug production, disease and pest resistance, improved food security, and improved nutrition composition. In terms of high crop yields, for instance, genetic engineering has occasioned this through a number of ways such as reducing the instance of pests which have often reduced crop yield (Dibden, Gibbs & Cocklin, 2013). While genetic engineering is the process behind genetic modification of various organisms, it is essential to understand how these organisms are created. The making of genetically modified organisms involves a four-step process. The first step is the identification of the desired trait. This identification involves assessing nature and what it has to offer while noting the elements that meet the desired trait. For instance, if researchers are interested in getting traits that enable survival of a crop in a particular environment, they would go for organisms which naturally survive in that environment (Dibden, Gibbs & Cocklin, 2013). The second step involves isolating the desired genetic trait. Researchers undertake comparative analysis so as to decode the particular part of organisms’ genetic composition with the desired trait. The third step is the insertion or implant of the genetic trait into the new genome. The fourth and final step is growing of the organism that has been genetically modified. After insertion of the desired trait, the organism is then given room to grow and after that, to replicate to the new genome. In this process, investment is usually made to ensure the altered plant is kept alive for it to reproduce after its successful creation.

An insight into how much genetically modified foods are consumed shows that almost every supermarket globally has genetically modified food items. Most of these foods include various cereals like rice, corn, and fruits. With the various products in supermarkets, the obvious question that arises is how safe the items are for consumption. Despite widespread notions and allegations on dangers of genetically modified foods, there is still no substantial evidence to support the same. If anything, many of the genetically modified crops are more nutritious. Some of the researchers, for example, have even made progress in boosting omega-3 contents in meat. The fatty acids contained within help prevented cases of stroke and heart complications.

Nonetheless, the genetic modification being a life-impacting progress, it has to be regulated. This is necessary to ensure life is safeguarded. In the United States, for instance, there is no umbrella legislation on genetically modified foods. Instead, there are a number of agencies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal, Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, as well as the Public Health Services Act, regulate on GMOs and in particular foods that have been genetically modified. The approach taken by the United States regulation on GMOs is backed by an emphasis on the assumption that the form or content of the product is more relevant as opposed to the manner in which the product was produced. Globally, the United States has a favorable regulation which provides a conducive environment for GMO development to thrive. It is not surprising therefore that the country is a global leader in matters relating to genetic modification. FDA is principally concerned with the safety of both people and animals. From the regulating agencies, it is apparent that GMO regulation in the United States is a majorly a federal affair where state laws play a minimal role.

Essay writing service:
  • Excellent quality
  • 100% Turnitin-safe
  • Affordable prices

Overall, the issue of GMOs remains a sensitive one as regards to food and safety. This is based on misinformation or even the lack of relevant information whatsoever. Reliance on GMOs for food security and quality is an issue that requires elaborate and extensive analysis. In developing countries, millions of people continue to experience chronic undernourishment. Food security is yet to be fully realized. Viewing GMOs objectively, therefore, would offer immense benefits regardless of any detriment associated.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Alberts, B., Beachy, R., Baulcombe, D., Blobel, G., Datta, S., Fedoroff, N., … & Sharp, P. (2013). Standing up for GMOs. Science341(6152), 1320-1320.
  2. Lane, V., Hvoslef-Eide, A. K., Drew, R. A., Knight, J. G., & Panis, B. (2014, August). Exploitation and progress of GMOs-past, present and future: exciting opportunities or a dead end?. In XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): III 1124 (pp. 101-114).
  3. Dibden, J., Gibbs, D., & Cocklin, C. (2013). Framing GM crops as a food security solution. Journal of Rural Studies29, 59-70.
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays