- May 18, 2020
GMO and biohazards
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have huge potentials in enhancing sustainable development in food production and agriculture in general, as well as other aspects of life such as medicine and assorted industries. It involves incorporating DNA fragments with desired traits and characteristics in the native organism.
There are several benefits associated with GMOs, mainly food safety and mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change. However, there are concerns about their use, especially biohazards associated with genetic engineering (Kumar, 2014).
Thesis: This paper looks at some of the biohazards which are associated with genetically modified organisms and will have implications in the future.
Biohazards and GMOs
There are several biohazards that have been argued by opponents of GMOs.
Some scientists have argued that genetic engineering is likely tohave adverse effects on non-target organisms (Krimsky & Gruber,2014).
Genetic engineering aims at enhancing or introducing desired traits, resulting in more superior organisms. This is likely to directly impact on genetic diversity. For example, the weed population and variety is likely to be affected by increased use herbicides resistant food crops in agriculture (Smith, 2005).
One of the major biosafety issue raised about GMOs has been the gene flow effects. This is a situations genes pass from one organism to another. Although the residual effects of genetic engineering are monitored, its long term impacts are not well established (Krimsky & Gruber, 2014).
While biotechnology continues to evolve and provide solutions to problems facing the modern world, there is no doubt that the future generations will be exposed to more biohazards associated with them (Krimsky & Gruber, 2014).
Genetically modified organisms provide answers to some of the challenges facing humanity today. For example, application of GMOs in agriculture can increase food production as well as reduce cost.
However, there are concerns about the biohazards associated with genetic engineering.
Krimsky, S. & Gruber, J. (2014). The GMO deception:what you need to know about the food, corporations, and governmentagencies putting our families and our environment at risk. NewYork, NY: Skyhorse Publishing.
Kumar S (2014) Biosafety Issues of Genetically Modified Organisms.Biosafety 3:e150. doi:10.4172/2167-0331.1000e150.
Smith, J. (2005).Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and GovernmentLies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You`reEating. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, ISBN 0972966501.