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What are the GMO Pros and Cons?

Genetically modified organisms or GMOs are foods which have been in the market for more than 2 decades now. Genetically modified organisms or micro-organisms are those organisms whose genetic makeup has been manipulated by artificially inserting components of another organism. There has been extensive research by scientists from all over the world on the GMO Pros and Cons. There are various advantages of GM crops, although to what extent GM Foods can help or harm humans and the environment is a debatable aspect.

Important GMO Pros and Cons

Though we consume a lot of GM foods with or without our knowledge, one should take note of the advantages and disadvantages of GM food.

Advantages of GMO crops

  •  GMO crops are beneficial for farmers as it will ensure pest resistance and high yield. Seeds are genetically changed for multiple reasons, which include improving resistance to insects and generating healthier crops.
  •  India imports edible oil from other countries. A higher yield will ensure price regulation of edible oil. It will also reduce dependency on imported food.
  • GM mustard is a self-pollinating plant and is better suited to hybridisation compared to other methods.
  • GM foods can be engineered to have a high content of a specific nutrient that is lacking in the diet of a local population group.

Disadvantages of GMO Crops

  •  The impact of growing GMO crops like GM mustard on the health of the population, the environment (the soil on which it is grown), the food chain, the groundwater, etc., is still unknown.
  •  Weeds are the wild plants that soak up nutrients from the soil and do not allow crops to absorb the nutrients.
  •  GMOs can pose significant allergy risks. Genetic enhancements often combine proteins not contained in the original organism, which can cause allergic reactions for humans.
  • Some GMO foods have antibiotic features built into them to make them immune to diseases or viruses. These antibiotics can make actual antibiotic medicines less effective.

Even though there are debates on the GMO Pros and Cons, yet GM crops are being grown and marketed everywhere. In India, the government is taking necessary action to develop a policy on GM foods.

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