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< Back to question Are GMOs good or bad? Show more Show less

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are organisms (plants and animals) that have had specific genes from a different species inserted into its own DNA. This results in the crop having new desirable features. Examples include papayas that are virus-resistant or corn that is herbicide-resistant. Our food has been genetically modified since the first GMO tomato (Flvr Svr) in the early 1990s. The acceptance of GMOs has varied between countries; the United States, Argentina, and Canada have quickly adopted GMOs while the EU countries have passed stricter legislation. There is a heated debate over whether GMOs are good or bad for our health, environment, world hunger, and the economy.

GMOs are good Show more Show less

GMOs have been extensively tested and have been proven safe for people to eat. GMOs are also good for the public because they are good for the environment, can help address world hunger, and can be a solution for growing amidst climate change. GMOs also lower the price of food.
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GMOs can lower expenses for farmers and lower the price of food

Modified crops require fewer resources. GMOs are also more durable which leads to bigger yields. This lowers the cost of production for farmers and therefore lower the price of food for consumers.
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Proponents


The Argument

GMOs crops lower expenses for farmers and therefore lower the price of food for consumers. Expenses are lowered for several reasons. First, GMOs require fewer resources. They can be resistant to pests which reduces the need for expensive pesticides.[1] GMOs also require less land and water. The use of fewer pesticides, land, and water keep production costs down.[2] GMOs are also more durable. GMOs can be resistant to diseases and can survive more extreme weather. Farmers lose fewer crops when they are using GMOs which helps them produce increased yields. These bigger yields lower the total cost of farming and increase profit for farmers. Lower costs for farmers lead to lower food prices for consumers. GMO crops have lowered the price for crops such as corn, soybeans, and sugar beets by 15-30%.[2] GMOs are helping save farmers and consumers money.

Counter arguments

GMO crops are not less expensive. GMO seeds are much more expensive than non-GMO seeds. GMO corn can cost $150 more per bag than non-GMO corn.[3] Also, while GMOs can potentially save farmers money on pesticides, they increase the amount spent on herbicides. A report from 2001-2010 found that herbicide use increased 26% as weed resistance increased because of GMOs.[3] Farmers have to spend more on seeds and herbicides when they have GMO crops, proving there is not a financial benefit to farming GMOs.

Premises

[P1] Pests, diseases, and weather destroy crops. [P2] Lost crops cost farmers. [P3] Pesticides can be expensive. [P4] GMOs require fewer pesticides and are more durable to weather extremes. [P5] This results in bigger yields of crops which lowers the cost for farmers.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P4] GMOs can require fewer pesticides, but they require more herbicides.

References

  1. http://doi.org/10.1080/10408347.2018.1442708
  2. https://www.ilcorn.org/news-and-media/current-news/article/2017/05/benefits-of-gmos
  3. https://modernfarmer.com/2013/12/post-gmo-economy/

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 14 Jul 2020 at 01:32 UTC

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