Genetic engineering debate:
The biggest worry in GMO technology perhaps is the uncertainty surrounding it. Many people feel that we may be going onto an area that we cannot control if it gets out of hand. Maybe it is too late now, because we have all (very likely) already consumed lots of GM foods. Whiles there is little research on the real effects of GMO on human health, it is widely known that GM foods are safe for consumption, at least in the short term. The debate is a very heated one.
Food redistribution and food waste
People speaking against GMO have a different point of view. They argue that feeding the worlds hungry and malnourished can be achieved by redistribution of food supplies. They argue that there is a lot of food waste in many of the countries that are pushing for GMO. If they really did care, they could invest in cutting the waste and distribute the surpluses to the most needed places. That sounds great, but is that possible?
Transfer of allergenic genes
Some people react to some food types. Transferring allergenic genes can result in contamination of natural foods and open up the range of allergic foods for people. For example, an allergenic Brazil-nut gene was inserted to a transgenic soya bean variety, but luckily the effect was noticed before it was released into the market.
— Source: Weighing the GMO arguments. FAO
There is also concerns about the environment. The use of heavy chemicals on crops means that the land will absorb the chemical residue. Weeds that were killed will contain chemical residue, posing a threat to soils and living organisms in them.
Hundreds of millions of people in the world are malnourished and hungry. Where is the food going to come from if we depend on natural farming practices that we have used all along? Many people speaking for the use of GMO say that the technology will make farmers in developing world (and all over the world) combat drought, pests and weeds more effectively and increase yields at local levels. Local farmers will need less effort to produce a higher yield.
Our reading on this lesson included the following sources: