Although genetically modified plants seem to provide the answer to the increasing nutritional needs of the food shortage worldwide, many countries seem to think twice before making use of the technology to increase harvest yields. There are even some countries that have banned the use of genetically modified plants in their territories. Why is this so? Why is it that a probable solution to a global problem seem to see itself in many controversies?
The problem may seem to come from the technology being a relatively new one. Although genetic engineering has already been practiced for decades, it is only the recent couple of decades that advanced gene manipulation has been able to bring about some genetic engineers’ prized creations. But as recent as their GM plants have been developed, its long term effects in the world in general cannot yet be predicted accurately.
Although there are many theories surrounding the possible scenarios when genetically modified plants have been put to general use all over the world, there are many people who are convinced with the belief that the disadvantages may far outweigh the possible benefits that such plants may be able to bring into the open.
True enough, such discoveries can truly revolutionize farming and harvesting crops that are able to yield more than the usual plant species. But the concern may come from the possible consequences that may happen after such plants are made a part of the dinner table or even a part of life in general. A simple example would be involve those GM plants that produce their own insecticide. Yes, there are already such genetically modified plants that can do that. But the big question that would come from most people may concern the safety of consuming such plants. A plant that produces its own insecticide can be a scary thing to have in anyone’s dinner table or kitchen.
Another controversy that surrounds the use of genetically modified plants is that people believe once it is brought out into the open and becomes a generally accepted method used in increasing harvest yields, the spread of genetically modified plants breeds may prove to be too much of a challenge to put a stop to in case of any problems cropping up with its use.
Many opponents of genetically modified plants believe that such plants can easily contaminate the natural gene pool of the plants. And since such biologically engineered plants are designed to be better, bigger and stronger, there is always this fear of the genetically modified plants eventually winning over the natural plant breeds and eventually run them out of existence. This will further result into the possible depletion of the number of plant species that will bring them to their eventual extinction.
Controversies truly abound when it comes to talk about genetically modified foods and plants. Such fears are further fueled by many news reports from all over the world that tell of some untested or “for labs only” GM plants accidentally contaminating some farming areas that may have led to scares and further concern among the public. Not helping to the cause would be the sly tactics of some companies in the genetically modified plant business in trying to introduce their new plant strains to farmers at times in full disregard to the eventual consequences.
The level of fear over the use of genetically modified plants has overtaken over their perceived benefits. What GM proponents may need to do now is to assure the ever growing and ever concerned public about the safety of such developments as well as how genetic modification can further be used to help mankind instead. As of now, it may still be a tall order, but they have to start someplace.