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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Genetically Modified Foods >>  Genetic engineering pros and cons
Genetic engineering pros and cons

Genetic engineering includes a set of technologies that are usually used for changing the genetic formation of the cells in an organism, in order to change its hereditary qualities or to create biological products. It can move genes across the boundaries of a species, for the production of novel organisms. These technologies require high levels of sophisticated manipulations of chemicals that are biologically important, as well as genetic material that include Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). It normally involves the technique of using a needle, to insert certain desired DNA, into an ovum or hybridomas and recombinant DNA. The bacteria present in the desired DNA then reproduce, to yield higher amounts of the desired gene.
Genetic engineering has many methods and techniques. There are many products that have been engineered genetically, which are easily available in the market. Some of these products include plants that are resistant to diseases and insects, drugs like interferon, growth hormones and bacteria that can digest industrial waste products. While this technology can introduce better traits and qualities in an organism, there are fair amounts of genetic engineering pros and cons too.

There are certain foods that have been genetically engineered. Such foods have been genetically modified to taste better, have a longer shelf life or be more resistant. One example of genetically modified food is corn that has been altered to be resistant to insects naturally. Another example is tomatoes that have been engineered to slow down the rotting process. However, there are several genetic engineering food pros and cons. The most common genetically modified food pros and cons include:


•    Food that has been genetically engineered is usually more cost effective, mainly because it is designed to grow in conditions that are not always favorable. Moreover, they are more resistant to pests. This normally leads to a large amount of savings, during production. The financial gain due to this can even help fight poverty.
•    Foods that are genetically modified are usually pest-resistant in nature, which reduces the need to use high amounts of pesticides, chemicals or other harmful additives.
•    In theory, genetically engineered food can help reduce the crisis shortage of food across the world. This is because the new species are altered to grow at a faster pace or more effectively. Such food can then be used to reduce the food crisis in poor nations or in countries where the crops do not prosper naturally, due to unfavorable environmental or geographical conditions.
•    There are several entities that claim to be the producers of crops and food products that fight certain diseases or provide additional nutrients, like milk proteins and iron. These products are not available to the population in certain areas, otherwise.


•    Any adverse effects that genetically engineered foods may have, have still not been determined, as this technology is fairly new.
•    Genetic modifications usually require adding certain chemical properties to crops. People often fear the effect of unknown chemicals on the body.
•    Poor countries do not really have easy access to modified foods, as it is quite unlikely that they will have the technologies to produce them. Therefore, such food will have to be obtained from rich countries, which will give them the means to control the food market.

Biotechnology pros and cons

Biotechnology refers to the development of an industrial process, with the help of a living organism. One of the biggest advantages of biotechnology is the production of foods like milk, cheese, yogurt and several medicinal drugs. Some of the common disadvantages are allergies, threats to humans or wildlife, contamination of plants and so on.

Submitted on January 16, 2014