Double trouble with GM (Genetically modified) crops!!
“No .. Not the small ones….Pick up the red bright juicy tomatoes right there…”
“Oohh my…these egg plants look great in size, neat and clean….”
“Wow !!! Those leafy veggies look damn fresh and wondrously green”
What if watermelons were square in shape instead of round? what if there were black strawberries available in lieu of red?
What’s all this about? Genius brains of humans are in a race of achieving unreliable goals by creating a closed room agricultural field ; what we call as “laboratories” to modify and boost up potential value of the crops. Though the issue hasn’t paid off yet, let’s see if this idea is a hit or miss considering arguments of both creators and consumers as well.
The tenacious battle against viruses and bacteria which was commenced for the sake of human wellness has unknowingly started backfiring the human health system. It all started with tobacco. There hasn’t been a complete conclusion made on the marching issue. Nevertheless, people are abruptly becoming victims of this baffling controversy. But, one Optimistic pause to think of : A drastic increase in population, yet continuing to keep up the graph of the growth rate, all these were to end up on the crucial phase of food crisis. Also, a belief of “Gene modification” was infused in the minds of brain-trusters purely a phrenic conception for the sake of humanity endurance. Let me first make the concepts clear for the novice furthermore of the theories and data relating to GM crops evolution.
“Nature gifted crops no longer remain natural since the birth of Genetic engineering techniques”
“GM crops” “Genes” “Genetically modified” “GMC’s”????
GMC’s stand for Genetically Modified Crops. This is a sort of exchange policy that makes us happy just transitorily; keeping us blindfolded of the uncharted impact and long-term durability facts. In other words, the genes of desired characteristics are injected or removed into/from plants making it highly resistant to diseases, droughts and other phenomenons. In addition, the plants are genetically modified to increase their nutritional value, make it more tasteful, produce large-sized fruits & vegetables and improve shelf life. The scientists introduce new traits into the plant that are not naturally found in them. Also, there are transformations occurring between species too, that is, a method called Transgenic injects a gene of one plant into a plant belonging to other species.
HOW …….WHEN…… and WHY?
Sources express that tobacco was the first to be genetically modified as antibiotic resistant tobacco plant in 1982. In the early 1990’s, a transgenic variety of virus resistant tobacco plant was commercialized by China. Since then, with great enthusiasm the biologists and scientists carried their inventions & discoveries further to an undeterminable extent with desired modifications. Right from 1990’s there were many visible changes that involved : increase in production of milk by dairy cows, plant IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) maize, transgenic tomato, insect resistant corn (BT Corn), soybean resistant to glyphosate herbicide, virus resistant squash, and so on. BT potato was the first pesticide producing crop in US. Not only the plants, but humans and animals were also a part of the gene manipulations, modified with desired traits thereby eliminating the unwanted ones.
The thought of GM crops started because humans are brilliant in thinking of modifications as per convenience and desires. If there is a choice of renovating your environment, what would you do? If there’s something that can be done to boost up your energy with even more high amounts of nutrients & vitamins, despite of the nature obtained benefits, would you not give a second chance to think of? And lastly, you would be completely convinced if I say possibly there’s an authorization of creating your own design by following the theory of Gene modification. This is how the concept was initiated.
And to the question of WHY? These advantages may be the right answers:
As I have mentioned earlier ( some of them may be repeated)
- Improved nutritional value
- Reduced labour costs
- Reduced soil loss
- Reduces crop damage due to adverse weather conditions
- Greater yields on less acreage
- Insect, virus, pests, disease resistant crops
- Delayed ripening with longer shelf life
Unfortunately, the disadvantages of the GM crops cannot be nullified or ignored as it has a down side of causing unfavorable effects putting human life as well other living beings in danger.
- Not safe on long term basis
- Toxicity and allergy risks
- Clueless harmful diseases could be found
- Unfamiliar taste
- Unsuitable for other living small creatures.
- Decreased effects of actual medications of antibiotics
- Not environment friendly
“Sometimes, somethings are to be left untouched”
The feedbacks of case studies so far has unraveled many threads.
- In 2005 — In china, experimental GM rice was introduced that contaminated baby food thereby affecting rice exports to other countries.
- In 2006–2007 — GM rice contamination in US caused losses of millions for farmers.
- In 2008 — GM maize was produced contaminating the seeds locally in Chile.
- A 2010 survey of Consumer sentiments towards the GM foods show 59% negative opinion
- Developers report the BT cotton cultivated in India to be commercially success. But, few reports have linked it with farmer’s suicides.
- Genetic modification techniques carried out with four major crops : Soya, maize, cotton & oilseed rape.
- The two major traits developed and cultivated were Insect resistance & herbicide tolerance, reducing the usage of pesticides.
“Do not fall into the well without a clue of its depth.”
Gmc’s success & failures :
The mind-boggling positive features of GMCs have successfully flattered few nations. The Countries ( that approved GMCs) in turn showcase only the benefits to its people with greater font sizes thereby hiding the actualities with an ant-sized font just as the “terms and conditions” your eye always fails to focus on free gift vouchers.
Whereas, joker (batman) face of GMCs has turned out to be a major concern in few countries that decides with long-term effects in mind. According to recent statistics and news, the GMCs are being stopped / banned gradually in few cities, states & countries.
Countries that approved GMCs:
According to 2013–2014 survey, major part of biotech crops were cultivated in the following countries:
- USA stands first, producing approximately 40% of GM crops.
- Rest of the world — less than 8%
Countries that are GM free and/or banned GMCs:
- In august 2015, Scotland banned the cultivation of GM crops.
- According to a 2015 news, 19 other countries in Europe bans the Genetically modified crops.
- Except for few imports, processed foods & meats, New Zealand has non-GMO crops.
- Australia & New Zealand has more than 30% of Organic farmlands.
- India banned GM Eggplant in 2010.
Good health always requires healthy food. Be the change and the world follows you !!!
Sources : gmeducation.org, wikipedia, fooddialogues.com, thewellnessworkshop.org, blog.tgac.ac.uk, greenpeace.org, globalagriculture.org, nomadcapitalist.com