Scientific progress makes humanity's existence on the Earth more comfortable and easy. It also may help us in solving some global problems. Biology, namely genetics, is not an exception. In order to make some plant or animal stronger, more resistant and fructiferous (or shorter - to improve some separate features) scientists found out the way of integrating alien genes into it. The main idea is: if, for example, rye needs a lot of sun during its growth, but a climate of some country can't provide it with sunlight enough, then why don't we just take a gene responsible for "love to the sunbeams" from something like a moss and replace the gene in the rye with it? A simple corn or potatoes may contain even fish genes due to genetic modification, only if it will be helpful, of course. The result is more efficiency with less spending of energy, money and time. However, the scathe to people and nature from growing and using GMOs was remaining an open question for a long time. That is why so much oppositionists of such manipulations with genes came out. Some say it may cause serious diseases, the others are afraid of damage to the environment, the "cleverest" proclaim it as an act of the Satan. So many people, so many minds.
The Most Popular Arguments Against GMOs and Their Truthfulness
A lot of people that perceive genetic modifications unacceptable are likely to operate a few widespread assertions. However, some of them could be not only be wrong, but even ridiculous. Popular cons:
- Transgenes could generate tumors, deviations and severe pathologies. The claim given formed due to scientific research: a group of rats fed only GM-soy and grains for some period were suffering from liver and kidneys problems. Few years later this research was revised and the revision revealed that every rat used was a member of a generation with the same parents, which were prone to illnesses foregoing. Plus an attempt to eat only soy and grains for few weeks would not lead to anything good for you, moreover for the rats.
- GMOs have not been tested enough. Yes, they weren't... Until last spring, when official US national Academy of sciences' report was presented. The report consists of 420 pages, inspects more than 900 scientific publications and contains the work of many scholars. Any evidence of transgenes' damage to the people or environment has not been found.
- GMOs provide dangerous toxins. Both producer and developer would go to jail for this.
- Allergic alert. This is a reasonable argument. A GM-plant with, for example, peanut genes potentially can harm individuals suffering from peanut allergy. But reputation is a big value for producers and that's why production with allergens will not go on markets.
- All GM-plants will breed uncontrolled. US National Academy of Sciences' report tells us the opposite.
- GMO is something like chemical means for faster growth (pesticides) or fighting weed (herbicides). Elementary biology and chemistry knowledge will protect people from such statements.
However, there is a real and serious problem about GMOs - genetic engineering is controlled by economy and politics for now, not by science and law as it should be.
How did "Holy Wars" Started?
The conflict was inflated by transnational companies-competitors of Monsanto (American company, the first who guessed GMO could bring profits) as it was becoming too dangerous competitor. So they started to use laws and media to prevent losses of profit. That is how hysteria was created.
Now a few words about benefits from using GMOs: cost reduction and eco-safeness increase, improved growth without using fertilizers, diet enriching, improved fecundity, absence of need for chemical means.