A GM crop involves techniques that are more precise and hence can bring desired results to a better extent. GM crops can be defined as crops from plants that are either genetically modified organisms or derived from genetically modified organisms or have inherited characteristics from other plants that have traits owing to gene technology. Genetically modified crops are capable of being disease resistant and herbicide tolerant.
The ability of GM crops to include vitamins that lack in those crops makes it more popular and wanted. Biotechnologists have been able to engineer creations like potatoes with bacteria genes, fish with cattle growth and tomatoes with flounder genes and many such animals, plants and insects are genetically modified. GM is also put forward as a solution to food scarcity resulting from the increasing population and thus demand of food. Food crops that are genetically engineered include beetroot, cotton, soybeans and many more processed foods which land up in supermarkets contain GE products. There is universal debate on whether GM crops should be used and allowed or not. In India, the debate was heated over the introduction of Bt Brinjal crop which was sought to be commercialized as the first GM crop. But there are several arguments that speak against the GM crops.
GM crops are known to cause diseases like heart ailments, cancer and kidney failures. Other health risks include toxicity, antibiotic resistance, loss of immunity etc. Also studies have proven that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to not only human beings but also to domesticated animals, wildlife and environment.
Uncontrolled biological pollution can result from the use of genetic engineering in agriculture. To sum up, let us consider some of the pros and cons of the genetically modified crops to be able to know how advantageous or disadvantageous it is to the human race and the environment on the whole:
Benefits of GM Crops Include:
Improved Crop Yield Pest Resistance as some GM crops produces their own pesticides. Herbicide Tolerance is known to result from use of GM crops preventing soil erosion Overcoming Food and Nutrition Shortage. Human medicines may be produced from GM crops in future, with some research
Threats posed by GM Crops:
Ecological Effects: Genes from GM crops that are herbicide resistant may be transferred to natural relatives and non-pest organisms may be affected by the pest resistance of GM crops. Health Effects: Hazardous diseases and unexpected health conditions may result even though nothing is proved yet about the ill effects.
Effects on Farming: Individual farmers fail to have a stock of seeds as more and more seeds fall into the stock of biotech companies.