With the world population expected to hit the 9 billion mark by the year 2050, food production and security have become major issues of concern in social circles, both locally and internationally. As a way of responding to the ever decreasing ratio between the population and the viable arable land, the US government has come up with various strategies aimed at improving plenty supply of food for the American citizenry. The most notable examples of such strategies are the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the steady supply of fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. These two approaches, coupled with irrigation have seen the food supply of the US remain steady. Even so, the two abovementioned approaches come at a cost. The costs at which such approaches come are associated with food safety and the environment.
Bourne et al (2008) argues that agriculture is one among the economic activities that impact heavily on the quality of water. According to Bourne, agriculture stands in the way of a smooth hydrological cycle by introducing impurities, especially runoff and other chemicals used in improving the quality of the soil. Agriculture, according to Bourne et al (2008), affects the hydrological cycle adversely through vapor-transpiration. In the year 1919, Hungarian engineer known as Karl Ereky coined the term biotechnology. This referred to the application of technology in improving the agricultural processes. In upholding the principles of such technology, the government has endeavored to ensure that farmers embrace GE crops and other organisms. Additionally, the use of pesticides and sulfur-based and nitrous fertilizers is greatly practiced.
Research indicates that food safety is at stake, as using chemicals in food crops is likely to have serious impacts in not only humans, but also the entire ecosystem (Jackson et al, 2008). According to Jackson et al (2008), nitrogen and sulfur compounds adversely affect fisheries by promoting algae in a process referred to as eutrophication. Such algae lower oxygen supply, prompting the death of fishes and a wide array of aquatic life. Similarly, eutrophication reduces recreational capacities of water bodies. The Gulf of Mexico is one living proof of the negatives of nitrogen compounds. Research further indicates that nitrogen compounds such as ammonia have negative impact on air quality. Sulfur compounds such as weak sulfuric acid impact negatively on property. Overall, GMOs and pesticides as well as fertilizers have negative impacts on water quality, air quality, food safety and the entire ecological system.
Bourne, J. Jr et al. (2008). Feeding The World. National Geographic Stock
Jackson R et al. (2008). Water. National Geographic Stock