The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

GMOs are not in fact evil

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/27/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 548 times Debate No: 116010
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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Okay so this is my midterm from biology. I only had like an hour to write it, so don't judge if there are any grammatical errors. I really didn't feel like proofreading it before I posted it here.

There is a negative stigma that is often associated with the genetic engineering of food as a result of misinformation. However, genetically modified organisms are just as safe for consumption as non-gmo foods and they can be better for the environment.

AquAdvantage Salmon is a fish that has been genetically engineered from the Atlantic salmon, the growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon, and a promoter from the ocean pout to make it grow faster and larger. There were fears from some environmentalists that if the AquAdvantage Salmon escaped from their holding sites, they could outcompete non-GE fish. However, the odds of the fish being able to escape and survive to interbreed with wild Atlantic salmon are negligent. After reviewing the precautions that AquaBounty Technologies would take in order to contain the fish, the FDA decided that the AquAdvantage Salmon did not pose a significant impact to the United States"s environment ("AquAdvantage Salmon" 1).

GM-crops also have the potential to significantly help the health of people around the world. Golden rice has been genetically modified to produce vitamin A and iron. It has the potential to save eyesight or even life of the millions of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency, as well as the lives of women and their babies who have diets lacking in iron. Crops that are manipulated to grow faster, larger, with limited resources, or in previously hostile conditions would have the potential to increase total food production in a world where chronic hunger is a serious problem for many people. According to Avery Dennis, "plants that secrete natural citric acid from their roots - and fend off the aluminum in the soils by up to 80% on nearly half the arable land in the tropics" and "virus-resistant sweet potatoes will apparently yield half again as much food per acre in Africa, where they are a major source of calories and food security. (A. Dennis 8-9)" The ability to produce more food in a smaller area of land will not only benefit the people who rely on it for food, but will also minimize the environmental impact by reducing land degradation and deforestation.

GM foods are not a significant health risk to humans, except in the case of rare allergies. Even then, the foods are tested for safety and reviewed by the FDA before they reach the marketplace for widespread consumption. AquAdvantage Salmon has the same key hormones as wild Atlantic salmon, and was found by the FDA to be "as safe as food from non-GE Atlantic salmon" ("AquAdvantage Salmon" 1). The growth hormone protein produced by biotechnology and administered to livestock to increase milk and meat production is chemically identical to the original protein (H. LeVine 8). If it is the same protein, it will have the same effect on humans consuming it, regardless of how it it is produced. However, it is still largely viewed negatively by consumers.

An often cited danger to the environment from GMOs is Bt crops. In 1999, a study suggesting a negative impact of pollen from Bt corn on the populations of of Monarch butterfly larvae was published, resulting in objection to its use. However, follow-up studies have shown the levels of Bt pollen are too low to pose a significant threat to the larvae. Rather, Bt crops have the potential to help the environment by reducing the amount of pesticides needed by producing pesticides themselves (M. Arora 8).
In conclusion, genetically modified organisms do not pose a major risk to human or environmental health, rather they prove to be a mean to benefit both. Some crops can increase food production or increase available nutrients, while posing little danger to the environment or human health.

Works Cited
Arora, Mohan. "Putting Technology to Work." Genetic Engineering. Global Media, 2008, p. 176.
"AquAdvantage Salmon Fact Sheet." U S Food and Drug Administration, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Dec, 2017.
Avery, Dennis 7. "Genetically Modified Organisms Can Help Save the Planet." Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture: Economics and Politics. Academic Press, 2008, p, 211.
LeVine, Harris. "Health Risks." Genetic Engineering: a Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO, 2007, pp.33-35.
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Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Gryyphyn 3 years ago
I have to think about whether I want to debate this topic with you... GMOs are bad news bears but your definition of a GMO, hell, the industry's definition, is flawed. How much free effort do I have to engage you is the problem. Real life is hard. :/
Posted by asta 3 years ago
I like GMOs
Posted by straightshooter 3 years ago
I dunno. Some GMO's seem pretty shady to me. Good argument tho.
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