Essay on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

4 pages
907 words
George Washington University
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Advances in the genetic engineering field have significantly allowed for a clear-cut control and regulation over the various genetic changes introduced in any organism. It is important to note that today, individuals are able to integrate and unite genes from a mono-species into different species via the genetic engineering. Through the genetic engineering, the agricultural performance is optimized and production of the valuable pharmaceutical products is facilitated. Conversely, plants are the most often cited examples of the genetically modified organisms. Genetic engineering in agriculture has a lot of benefits including resistance to crop diseases and pests, increased crop yields, declined needs for pesticides, and higher food security. Genetic engineering also enhances food quality, reduces the cost for food, provides medical benefits for the populace, and enhances nutrient composition (Devos et. al, 2014). Greater advances have similarly been made amid the growing and developing plants which mature quicker and tolerate frost, boron, aluminum, salt as well the other climatic stressors, therefore, allowing crops to grow and develop in conditions which might not be in anyway flourishing. On the other hand, many animals have equally gone through genetically engineering to decrease diseases susceptibility and their increase yields.

The GMOs are created through four basic steps including identification of the trait of interest. Here, scientists habitually look at nature, for instance, if the scientists are looking for a particular trait which would allow any crop to survive in a particular environment, then the researchers have to look for an organism which can naturally survive in that environment. Secondly is isolation of the genetic trait of interest. According to Devos et al, (2014), a comparative analysis must be utilized in decoding the part of the organisms genetic makeup which has that specific trait of interest. Notably, the genome of crops with the traits is matched to the genome in the similar species without the trait. This is specifically done with an aim of identifying the genes which are present in the later only. Thirdly is inserting the desired trait into a new genome. Changing the genome of the crop seed is hard because of their rigid structures; however, biotech firms use the genome guns which shoot the metals particle sealed with a DNA into a tissue containing the caliber charge (Devos et. al, 2014). Fourthly is growing the GMO. After a successful insertion of the genetic trait into the organisms genome, the genetically modified organism has to grow to replicate with the engineered genome.

Many foods found in the supermarkets such as canola contain GMO. Foods such as canned soups, oil blends, snack bars, bread, and processed foods contain GMO too. Notably, sugar beets such as ice creams, yogurt, candy, donuts, cookies, juice, and cakes also contain GMO. The GMO foods are highly banned till sufficient testing ratifies that they are entirely safe for the human consumption as well as for the atmosphere. Seventy percent of all the processed foods contain the ingredients of the GMO (Mandell et al. 2015). More importantly, genetically engineered foodstuffs such as sugar beets, squash, soybeans, canola, tomatoes, and rice have been approved for human consumption. On the other hand, the genetically engineered foods have got some problems including allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, and nutritional degradation.

The regulations of genetic engineering vary in accordance to the countries. One of the major issues that concern regulating the GM foods is whether the foods ought to be labeled or not. More than sixty-four countries need the GMO products in the marketplaces to be labeled (Mandell et al. 2015). In countries such as Belgium, the country is concentrated on authorization requirements before the GMO products production, distribution, and use. The country also seeks for information as well as transparency measures towards the GMO products. In countries such as Brazil, there is restriction on the GMO release into the surrounding, regimes for their farming, monitoring and inspecting the GMO research activities as well as their commercial distribution and release. These countries also provide for administrative punishment criminal offenses and violations of the laws. This is done to ensure ethical establishment, treatment, and use of the GMOs. According to Devos et al, (2014), In the United States, the GMO are basically regulated under the Regulation of Biotechnology, Act of 1986. This regulation is done to ensure that the producers do not produce unsafe products for human consumption.

In conclusion, the GMOs may have a benefit to the human beings when specifically used for certain purposes like the quality as well as the availability of Medicare, food as well as if they contribute to a cleaner and favorable environment. It is important to note that when the GMOs are utilized wisely, then they are likely to result in an improved and developed economy. The ultimate potential of the GMOs can only be achieved with diligence as well as thorough attention to some of the hazards or risks related with the new GMOs. Farm animals, soil bacteria as well as crop plants are some of the most protuberant examples of organisms which have been subjected to genetic engineering.


Devos, Y., Aguilera, J., Diveki, Z., Gomes, A., Liu, Y., Paoletti, C., ... & Waigmann, E. (2014). EFSA's scientific activities and achievements on the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) during its first decade of existence: looking back and ahead. Transgenic research, 23(1), 1.

Mandell, D. J., Lajoie, M. J., Mee, M. T., Takeuchi, R., Kuznetsov, G., Norville, J. E., ... & Church, G. M. (2015). Biocontainment of genetically modified organisms by synthetic protein design. Nature, 518(7537), 55-60.

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