o Enhanced taste and quality o Reduced maturation time o Increased nutrients, yields, and stress tolerance o Improved resistance to disease, pests, and herbicides o New products and growing techniques. Animals o Increased resistance, productivity, hardiness, and feed efficiency o Better yields of meat, eggs, and milk o Improved animal health and diagnostic methods. Environment o 'Friendly' bio herbicides and bio insecticides o Conservation of soil, water, and energy o Bio processing for forestry products o Better natural waste management o More efficient processing. Society o Increased food security for growing populations Controversies. Safety o Potential human health impact: allergens, transfer of antibiotic resistance markers, unknown effects Potential environmental impact: unintended transfer of trans genes through cross-pollination, unknown effects on other organisms (e. g.
, soil microbes), and loss of flora and fauna biodiversity. Access and Intellectual Property o Domination of world food production by a few companies o Increasing dependence on Industrialized nations by developing countries o Bio piracy-foreign exploitation of natural resources. Ethics o Violation of natural organisms' intrinsic values o Tampering with nature by mixing genes among species o Objections to consuming animal genes in plants and vice versa o Stress for animal. Labeling o Not mandatory in some countries (e.
g. , United States) o Mixing GM crops with non-GM confounds labeling attempts. Society o New advances may be skewed to interests of rich countries web What Are the Benefits? Genetically modified foods (GM foods or GMF) offer a way to quickly improve crop characteristics such as yield, pest resistance, or herbicide tolerance, often to a degree not possible with traditional methods. Further, GM crops can be manipulated to produce completely artificial substances, from the precursors to plastics to consumable vaccines.
What are the Risks? The power of genetic modification techniques raises the possibility of human health, environmental, and economic problems, including unanticipated allergic responses to novel substances in foods, the spread of pest resistance or herbicide tolerance to wild plants, inadvertent toxicity to benign wildlife, and increasing control of agriculture by biotechnology corporations. web cdr. asp? url file = /DOC REP/003/X 9602 E/X 9602 E 00. HTM A range of opinions in the debate on GMOs (Quotations from the English-language media) Food security " To feed 10. 8 billion people by 2050 will require us to convert 15 million square miles of virgin forest, wilderness and marginal land into agrochemical-dependent arable land.
GM crops hold the most important key to solve future problems in feeding an extra 5 billion mouths over the next 50 years.' Michael Wilson of the Scottish Crops Research Institute, in 1997 'The greatest threat to food security on earth is the concentration of the food chain in the hands of a few rich and powerful players... This attempt to control the food chain, through developing genetically modified organisms, threatens to turn them into the hunger merchants of the third millennium.' George Monbiot, journalist with Socialist Worker, in 1999 Impact on developing countries " If imports [of GMO seeds]... are regulated unnecessarily, the real losers will be the developing nations. Instead of reaping the benefits of decades of discovery and research, people from Africa and Southeast Asia will remain prisoners of outdated technology.
Their countries could suffer greatly for years to come. It is crucial that they reject the propaganda of extremist groups before it is too late.' Former United States President Jimmy Carter, in 1998'There are still hungry people... but they are hungry because they have no money, not because there is no food to buy... we strongly resent the abuse of our poverty to sway the interests of the European public.' (In reply to a European scientist's comment that: 'those who want GMOs banned are undermining the position of starving people'. ) Tew olde Be rhan Genre Egziabher, of the Institute for Sustainable Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1997 Nutrition " Genetic technology could also improve nutrition.
If the 250 million malnourished Asians who currently subsist on rice were able to grow and consume rice genetically modified to contain vitamin A and iron, cases of vitamin A deficiency... would fall, as would the incidence of anaemia.' Robert Pa arlberg in Foreign Affairs, in 2000'A rip-off of the public trust, Asian farmers get (unproved) genetically modified rice, and biotech corporations get the 'gold'.' Rural Advancement Foundation International, in 2000 Ethical consideration Food safety. The foundation of consumers' concern about GMOs is food safety. Because of experiences with non-GMO food problems such as allergens, pesticide residues, microbiological contaminants and, most recently, bovine spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow' disease) and its human counterparts, consumers are sometimes wary of the safety of foods produced with new technologies.
The approaches being taken by governments to ensure the safety of GMOs are discussed in the sections under Risk analysis. Environmental impact. The potential of GMOs to upset the balance of nature is another concern of the public. GMOs are 'novel' products which, when released, may cause ecosystems to adjust, perhaps in unintended ways. There is also concern about the possibility that genetic 'pollution' will result from out crossing with wild populations. As with non-GMOs, an issue is whether pre-release testing (especially when limited to laboratories or computer models) is an adequate safeguard for the environment or whether post-release monitoring is also necessary.
The extent of post-release monitoring needed to protect ecosystems, especially with.