Monday April 16 2018

GMOs existed long before science

GMOs existed long before science

GMO orange 

By Anthony Daka

I have heard many people say ing all sorts of things about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Surprisingly, their arguments are only in relation to plants. Why would someone say all big and tasteless fruits are genetically modified or that GMOs cause cancer?
There is a lot of information on the Internet for and against GMOs, but why would you only choose to read the negative and leave out positive aspect or the vice versa? How will you draw conclusions and make us believe your judgement?

It has come to many’s notice that pro-GMO information is scientifically researched thus there is a trusted source highly recognised by the community. This is because it is the same scientists who have developed some products they are using. On the other hand, anti-GMO information is considered to be scientifically baseless and only thrives on creating fear.

Yet GMOs have naturally existed before science came in. Moreover, you have fed on GMOs regardless of where you have bought your food from. For a crop to be genetically modified, it means there has been a change in its genetic makeup commonly referred to as the DNA -where a gene could have been added, subtracted or modified. This has occurred in nature without scientific intervention. However, there has been a scientific form of genetically modifying crops conventionally called cross breeding that has been widely accepted. This kind of genetic modification involves a random uncontrolled exchange of many genes between related species.

For example, where you want to have oranges that are sweet, you have your tall orange plant that produces relatively sour oranges so you cross it with another species that produces very sweet oranges. But the problem with it is that it us very short hence it yields fewer fruits. With this conventional breeding, you must leave things to chance. Unfortunately, you could end up with majority of the offsprings being relatively sweet and short. You gain sweetness and shortness followed by low yields and thus reduced profits for the farmers.

Then here comes biotechnology that does not leave things to chance, you want it, you get it. The exact gene you want to be introduced in your crop is the only one that will be introduced. Considering example above, sweetness would be introduced and shortness left out and you end up with a tall plant that produces sweet fruits, just what you wanted.

Much as I attribute the delay in passing the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill to the anti-GMO activists, I will also blame the scientists for not coming up to create awareness about GMOs and countering immediately the myths about genetic modification of food before they get out of hand.
There is no scientific research that shows that GM foods cause cancer, miscarriages, kills, etc.
Anthony Daka
[email protected]

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