Ever since 1982, when Genetically Modified Crops were introduced, there has been heated debate as to whether they are beneficial to both humans and the environment.
For many people, deciphering whether food has been modified before it reaches the shelf or not can be a hard task, as most don’t know what to look for. The EU law dictates that if a chemical of any form has been sprayed or injected into the products we eat, then it should be clearly labelled so that consumers are aware of this.
What defines a GM food?
GM foods are essentially foods that have been altered in some way to assist the growth process. For example, allowing the crop to grow faster, be resistant from disease or duplicate in order to produce a higher yield. This process is an alternative to allowing crops to grow naturally without chemical intervention. However, even chemicals such as simple fertilisers are classed as potentially damaging to the environment and should be avoided at all costs.
The risks of GM food
It is well known that despite all the benefits of genetically modified foods, such as the fact that they generate more money for farmers due to the higher yield of crops they produce, they are far outweighed by the negatives. The biggest of these is the major impact it has on wildlife. Fertilisers that are intended to prevent diseases on crops can actually end up killing wildlife, due to the harmful toxins that they contain. In turn the food chain can be severely affected, which more often than not creates a ripple effect, and can even end up damaging humans the human food source.
Secondly, any chemicals that are sprayed onto crops can be carried by the wind, which means that fields surrounding the modified field may be affected to against the farmer’s wish. The chemicals may also be carried by the wind to nearby water sources, and can potentially get into the drinking water of humans, which can be dangerous. Finally, it is worth taking note that there is potential for the modifications to spiral out of control.
Why you should avoid GM food
With all the previously mentioned negatives surrounding GM crops in mind, it is clear to see that they do more harm than good. This is why if we want farmers to search for more environmentally friendly and less damaging alternatives. The best thing to do is look out for the labels and avoid purchasing these products.
This image shows a graph of crops GE (Genetically Engineered) which are grown in the US. As shown in the picture, the amount being grown levelled out around the year of 2012. This is likely down to the fact that more and more people are becoming aware of the risks that these products caused and were purchasing other foods instead. This has subsequently forced the production to slow down as well. It is only a matter of time to see if this process of chemical enhancement will be made redundant forever!
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