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  Genetically Modified Organism, GMO, can refer to a plant, animal,  or organism that it modified or altered by humans in a way that is not  natural.  Humans have been genetically modifying foods for many  centuries, by artificially selecting which genes will develop and  breeding organisms with others in order to produce a better offspring.  The technology that prompted the growth of GMOs in food came around  1973, when scientists discovered a method of cutting a gene from one  organism and putting it in another organism.  Around 1992 FLAVR SAVR  tomatoes came into play, and GMOs have been with us ever since.  Today,  scientists have used this technology to make foods resistant to pests,  stay fresh longer, and produced the “best” produce.

  The benefits of GMOs are many and include, better shelf life for  produce, better nutrients, less land used to cultivate produce, less  water used, less use of harmful insecticides and pesticides, and can  even save a type of produce from extinction.  There are some setbacks  that come with GMOs.  There is the fact that GMOs are pretty much  everywhere and there is no labeling requirement in the US.  There is  also the problem that GMOs encourage the use of additional herbicides.  “Farmers have increased the number of toxic herbicides because of this  by more than 1500% since the first GMO crops were introduced.”(Rangel,  2015)

  I do think that experimentation on foods is unnatural, because if  left to its own devices, we would not have some of the foods we have  currently, but I do not believe that this is wrong or that it is  endangering people.  As stated before, when farmers mixed different  breeds of plants in order to make a different plant, that plant was  genetically modified, so I don’t believe there is a good or bad way to  modify organisms.

  There has been a lot of debate as to the consequences of eating  GMOs.  Many have been suspicious of long term affects of eating GMOs,  however there is no science to prove this claim.  There were also claims  of GMOs putting farmers out of business and causing them to commit  suicide from losing their livelihoods, however “it was later concluded  that suicide rates were actually unchanged after introduction of GE  cotton, and that there were economic benefits of GE cotton for most  Indian farmers.” (Regoli, 2019)

Rangel, G. (2015, August 9). From Corgis to Corn: A Brief Look at the Long History of GMO Technology. Retrieved from http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/from-corgis-to-corn-a-brief-look-at-the-long-history-of-gmo-technology/ (Links to an external site.)

Regoli, N. (2019, January 9). 24 Advantages and Disadvantages of  GMOs. Retrieved from  https://vittana.org/24-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gmos

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