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Genetically Modified Foods and Pesticides for Health Essay

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Updated: Feb 1st, 2021

Ethical issues of genetically modified foods

Genetically modified foods (GMOs) have come with the advancement in biotechnology. Pro and cons have been put forward regarding the use of GMOs. Ethical issues have been raised concerning GMOs due to their potentially harmful effects on humans and the environment as well as animals.

Genetic modification could harm organisms and cause things like mutations. There is no guarantee that the future organisms will remain stable in the modified form or changes will occur that might be unpleasant. It would therefore be unethical to take such a chance on organisms. Moreover, tampering with the genetic composition of plants could lead to the cross-breeding that would cause more harm than good.

For instance, what would happen if weeds got herbicides resistant components? How would the farmers control the weeds? Would they end up harvesting low yields due to uncontrollable weeds? Moreover, genetically modified plants could harm organisms that are not directly linked with genetic modification such as insect pollinators. There is fear that insects such as bees could bring about the emergence of insects that are resistant to insecticides due to coming in contact with the genetically modified pollen. The new breed of insects would spread the disease to humans and animals (Weighing the GMO Arguments, 2003).

Apart from the mix-up of genes and mutations of resistant organisms, GMOs could threaten the survival of local farmers. The private sector that dominates the biotechnology field can come up with genetically modified seeds that farmers cannot afford due to high prices. Also, some of the plants that the local farmers grow are very important in conserving and balancing the environment and there is fear that with genetic modification indigenous plants may be lost and become extinct to the detriment of the environment (Weighing the GMO Arguments, 2003).

Pesticides and health problems

Pesticides can bring about health problems as laboratory studies show. For instance cancer, nerve damage, and risk to children such effects are chronic toxicity because they take a while to manifest. Acute toxicity occurs when people react immediately to the pesticides such as developing an allergy, irritation, skin problems, and so on. Children are more prone to health issues related to pesticides because their internal organs are immature and are more likely to play in areas where they may be exposed to pesticides (Pesticides and Food, 2011).

Pesticides act as endocrine disruptors because they contain chemicals that interfere with the working of the endocrine system causing negative effects on organisms such as DDT while Carbaryl a pesticide for fleas causes many health problems.

Reference List

Pesticides and Food. (2011). Web.

. (2003). Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Genetically Modified Foods and Pesticides for Health." February 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/genetically-modified-foods-and-pesticides-for-health/.


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IvyPanda. "Genetically Modified Foods and Pesticides for Health." February 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/genetically-modified-foods-and-pesticides-for-health/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Genetically Modified Foods and Pesticides for Health." February 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/genetically-modified-foods-and-pesticides-for-health/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Genetically Modified Foods and Pesticides for Health'. 1 February.

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