This is the first of a series of articles that I will write to explain and outline the advantages of genetically modifying food and organisms. Before moving forward, I should point out that I will discuss some of the disadvantages to genetic changes to crops, but that will come after this series is over. Sign up on the right of the blog to receive updates directly to your email inbox to ensure you don’t miss any part of the series.
This is the first and most commonly cited benefit of genetically modifying crops.
To explain briefly, these are the main points:
- Crop losses from insect pests can be devastating to farmers, and this phenomenon occurs all around the world.
- Farmers deal with this issue by using a very large and unhealthy amount of pesticides, using tons of the substance annually.
- Consumers prefer eating food that has not been treated with a large amount of pesticide and chemicals.
- Waste from the pesticide can cause environmental damage, for example the excess pesticide flows into water streams and contaminates and sometimes poisons water bodies.
That’s the general gist of the arguments against using non-genetically modified methods. Let’s dive deeper into these concerns.
Crop losses from insect pests can be devastating to farmers
All through history, thousands of farmers have gone through the devastating finding that their crop has been destroyed by pests and insects. Things such as these cause huge losses for the farmers, country, and at times people across the world.
Crop losses for the farmer can mean that their only source of income, harvesting the crop to sell to markets, has been taken away from them. This leads a s severe loss, and research has shown that most farmers fail to recover from a bad crop. The social implications of this are not within the scope of this post, but I will write a post about that some time in the future.
Use Of Unhealthy Amount Of Pesticides
As mentioned in the previous point, farmers regularly suffer from crop and harvest loss. To deal with this problem, they use an extremely unhealthy amount of insect kills, weed killers, and pesticide/insecticide. These are not only extremely harmful to the environment, but also poisonous to human beings.
The chemicals, because they are usually used in a large number, flow outwards from the farms and end up in water streams. And even if large amounts are not used, there is no reasonable way fro the chemicals and drugs to reach into the soil. There are several water beds user soils on which farming is conducted. In one way or another, these chemicals do reach water bodies. And then there is the issue of air pollution, as these chemicals can be transferred over air.
Several surveys have been conducted around the world that show clearly that a very significant majority of customers and consumers prefer food that has not been sprayed with chemicals. This is also a very natural conclusion, as most people would not prefer to have poisonous substances sprayed over their food.
Genetically modified food can be altered in a way that would allow it to be resistant to insects, weed, and other harmful organisms. Growing GM foods and GMO can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to the market, as the pesticides that are currently used are extremely expensive.
This is the first part. There are several other benefits such as herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, pharmaceuticals, etc. Enter your email address below to get these articles directly in your inbox when they are posted. You will also get a free ebook that explains the basics of GM food and GMO. It contains everything you need to know to be able to dive deeper into these discussion in your own research as well as in conversation with your colleagues and friends. Sign up below!