Genetically Engineered Food Essay, Research Paper
Millions of people all over the planet suffer from poverty and starvation. One very interesting but experimental solution to the problem of world hunger is genetically engineered food. The process involves the crossbreeding of crops in a laboratory with species that are not plant like. Say for example, that a scientist crossed a fish and a potato. The diversity of this gene mixture is supposed to give this hybrid crop special characteristics like resistance to disease, the ability to deal with extreme environmental situations, and much higher crop yields at harvest time. The production of genetically enhanced food is considered a radical approach to dealing with the world hunger crisis. Critics of gene refined food believe that tampering with the natural order of environmental evolution can be potentially dangerous. “There is an uncertainty about the effects that chemical experimenting could have on non-target species (http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/GEFood/IsGEFoodSafe.asp).” Meaning that scientists fear that extracting genes that perform an apparently useful function as part of a plant or animal may not have the same effects if inserted into a totally unrelated species. These potentially dangerous mixes could create deformed, mutant like crops and animals. The effects that such altered species could have on the environment and peoples overall health is uncertain. Though the process has been proven successful in the lab, many experts feel that serious precautionary measures should be taken before genetically engineered food is mass-produced and sold on the open market. Politics act as the major obstacle in the way of genetically engineered food production. The fact is that legal advances such as copy writes and distribution need to be taken care of first. Despite the advances in genetic food, some forms of these foods still need the aid of pesticides, which are harmful to the soil and insect life. The old saying, “Time is money” can be used to explain why it may be unlikely that these foods will ever make the mainstream market. The red tape surrounding the issue makes the idea of production unattractive to companies who may be interested in investing. Trying to back the production of genetically engineered food would be a bad business move because it is too difficult to get past government health regulations. It would take too long maybe years before bankers would receive returns on their investments.Most analysts of gene enhanced food believe that it is unnecessary to take such an extreme step toward solving world hunger. Actually they think that this is the wrong solution all together. “Even though global food output is adequate to feed the entire world’s population, 800 million people are going hungry because they cannot afford to buy food (http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/reports/suicide/biotechnology.html).” Meaning that there is already enough food to feed the world. The solution to world hunger is to revamp the world economy and help third world countries out of debt. This way they will be able to afford to buy food for themselves without the aid of other countries. That makes sense because most third world countries won’t be able to afford genetically engineered food either.”Give a man a fish; you have feed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”-Old Chinese Proverb. I think that this embodies the basic idea of genetically engineered food. I think that scientist want to create a surplus of food in the world. This could result in lower food prices. Maybe then people from third world countries will be able to afford the food. I’m not sure what to think of the whole thing but I thought that the articles I read were interesting. I felt like I was reading something straight out of a science fiction novel. I understand the skepticism of gene enhanced foods but I think the idea of trying to feed the whole planet is a noble one.