In the recently period, I think you might have eaten crops that would not exist in natural, or you have probably brought some food which the originals were blasted with radiation or some food were “cloned”. After all, very little of our food is a truly “nature”, and even the most basic crops that are the results of human manipulation. Think of some food such as corns, watermelons, and carrots, these all kinds of food you might eat without hesitation, but when compare there of their wild ancestors, you could find differences, even the “organic” varieties could not be recognized. And another example of bananas: domestic bananas have long since lost seeds that allow their ancestors to produce, so if you eat banana today, it is the truth that you are eating un-natatural food.(James Borrel) That made me to define what is “nature”? It is not same as “natural”; it is a cultural term; it is described as a way to help us to make sense of the world. There are an increasing amount of appeal of giving back to earth a clean and natural home.
That’s not to say all food in “nature” is a good thing. Whether the genetically modified is beneficial or bad for people, it depends on where we stand: a big scale or a single person.
Why we use genetically modified technology?
Before we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of GM food, it is important to know about why we put a lot of money and effort to develop them. There are some challenges we are meeting.
First of all, the expansion of population has climbed dramatically. The currently global population is about 7.55, although recent years, with some policies publishing, growth rate has slowed. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported that by 2030, the population will reach to 8.5 billion and 9.7 billion by 2050. The expansion of population is one of the major contributors to undernourishment around the world.
Another challenge is the decrease in arable land: although recent years there is a increasing trend, FAO predicted that the amount of arable land available for food production per person will decrease from the current 0.242 ha to 0.18 ha by 2050. This problem confounds those of population growth and malnutrition. (Chen Zhang)
Thirdly is the bottleneck of conventional and modern breeding. Conventional breeding relies on sexual crossing of one parental line with another parental line, in hopes of expressing some desired property. In fact, nowadays genetic variety has dwindled (probably as a result of past efforts at optimization), thus we operate in a restricted space for improvement.
To tackle with theses problems, the modern technology has been discovered and developed. GM food’ s technology is to promise to feed people and it is an optional choices to attach the sustainable systerm.
The debates about GM food
The main advantage of GM food crops is to ensure the food security in the future, especially some small-scale agriculture in developing countries. The supporters argue that the GM crops are beneficial for food safety, and it have a longer shelf time which is not only good for both farmers and consumers, but also the environment. As Alessandro Nicolia conclude that the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazard directly connected with the use of GM crops. In addition, proponents claims that the technology will both provide more food production and increase the food productivity for the world’ hungry. Also the economic profits can not be ignored. From 2006 to 2012, the global increase in farm income from GM crops had reached 116 billion dollars, which is triple than previous 10 years (Chen Zhang). Last, with the future technologies, we can expect foods with higher micronutrients on concentration; crops can thrive in drought or salty soils and resistant to a wider range of pests.
The technologies spread has been smoothy, but the concerns and actions have impacted the biotechnology industry’s expansion plan. On the another side of debate, some are opposed to this new technology, they said they are “un-natural” or “against the God”(Simon Nicholson). The mostly opponents are concerning about the effects on people’s health, there are three major risks with GM foods: toxicity, allergy, and genetic hazard. Another issue is the insect-resistant plants might increase the number of minor pests while reducing the major type of pest. Finally, many research said that GM food is a good way to solve the global hungry, it seems like a benefits, but there is a punch line: we might contribute conditions of hunger to short-term factors, this is a really long-term problem; and hunger is not natural, it is always political, GM foods ultimately do nothing to address these political roots of our crisis.
The root of the debate is a disagreement between “technophiles” and ” technophobes”. (Simon Nicholson) Proponents of GM foods often put themselves in the technophile role, striving to find practical solutions to the world’s pressing agricultural challenges. In the contrast, those who raise questions about GM foods are pegged as anti-technological roles.
It seems that there are only two ways open to us to solve this problem: either we whole heartedly embraced our present technology, or we turn backs on all technology and wander back into the Stone Age. These two extreme options though, are not our real alternatives at all. There are a wide range of possible technological available to us, beyond moving ever forward on our present track or turning our backs on all forms of technological progress. Instead of employing technologies to work against natural process and bring them under a human yoke, we can and must strive to develop technologies to help us engage with natural processes in ways that we productive and restoring. Technology should be in the service of people, rather than a dangerous which threaten well-being.