Technological advancement has improved agricultural production greatly. For instance, the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) has significantly increased agricultural production while at the same time reducing the inputs involved. It is a significant for farmers to grow crops at reduced cost of production and guarantee numerous benefits. This article provides an in-depth review of the subject of genetically modified organisms to establish some of the pros and cons of growing GMOs crops. Nevertheless, it is important first, to have a clear information about what GMOs.
What are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms are species of crops and animals that result from the recombination of DNA technology ensuring the transfer of one organism to the other in a limitless genetic transfer of species. However, for such transfer to be successful, the receiving organism ought to be able to be compatible with the incoming genes. The technology of GM crops has been in existence since 1995. There has been a general acceptance in the production of GM crops among farmers in the whole world. Over the years, the adaptation of GM crops has been extensive, though coupled with several challenges. For instance, there are concerns over the adventitious presence of genetically modified crops on organic farms, the gene flow, as well as the outcrossing with non-genetically modified crops. Nevertheless, other concerns, and the main ones revolve around three areas –trade impacts, environmental safety and human health.
Pros and Cons of growing GM crops
The advancement of technology has brought forth various improvement in farming including the GM crops. It is important to understand the benefits and challenges associated with the practice of growing GM crops. Read along to learn a few pros and cons of growing GM crops.
Pros of growing GM crops
Statistics show that the population of the world has grown past 7 billion people and the trends show that there is high expectation for much growth in the coming years. It is becoming a great challenge to offer adequate supply of food to such a booming population. GM crops have become a significant option to feed the world using diverse ways. Here are some of the pros of growing GM crops.
- Productivity of GM crops
The lack of enough rain and farmland has significantly affected production in agriculture. The implication is the amount of produce in the past years has not been enough to cater for the growing population in the world. As such, the introduction of GM seeds and crops is seen as a significant approve towards better production and enough supply of food to meet the growing food challenge. GM crop farming has certain characteristics that guarantee operational benefits for farmers such that you can get high profits.
Growing GM crops is cost effective in that there is minimal need to apply pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, this type of farming guarantees increased level of production as well as offers a room for yield protection. The majorities of GM crops are highly resistant to herbicides and insects and hence, make it simple to manage crops, reduce loss in crops, and lead to increased yields.
- Pest management and herbicide tolerance
The problem of lack of tolerance for herbicides affects the level of agricultural production greatly. However, the introduction of the herbicide tolerance in GM crop farming has made it possible for farmers to increase their yield. Novel genes have been introduced in the market as a remedy to the problem of herbicide tolerance. This comes following the realization that it is quite expensive and time consuming to control weeds using selective herbicides or even through physical means.
- Human health
The growing of GM crops is beneficial to the human health for several reasons. For instance, the reduction of the percentage of insecticides exposed on the human health is a significant benefit of growing GM crops. Usually, when growing GM crops, there is a substantial change in the patterns of herbicide use especially toward glyphosate which is a considerable benign herbicide.
- Reduction of allergies
The number of people with food allergies increased between 2009 and 2011 from 3.4% to 5.1%. The increase in the food allergies is making it hard for consumers to have food that they can eat comfortably. However, growing GM foods is a significant way to help consumers to solve their food allergies.