GMO is the abbreviation for genetically modified organisms. An organism is said to be genetically modified when there is alteration of its genetic constitution through genetic engineering methods. Micro-organisms such as mammals, insects, fish, plants, yeast and bacteria are some of the organisms that have been genetically modified in today’s world. Monsanto is one of the major companies that involved itself in the production of GMOs and it also controls the biggest and widest share of market of GMO crops in the world . The following are some of the products that Monsanto produced. Firstly, they produced RoundUp soy-beans which were genetically modified to resist the spraying of RoundUp. Some of the other innovations in regards to GMO include DDT, Agent Orange, Aspartame, Dioxin, Saccharain, rBST/rBGH, PCBs and Terminator Seeds whose growth is for only one season, forcing the farmers to purchase their genetically modified seeds every year rather than saving seeds from the previous harvest as they have done for many years. Some of the other companies that produce GMO include Syngeta AG, Dow Agrosciences (subsidiary of Dow Chemical), Pioneer Hi-Bred International (subsidiary of DuPont) and Bayer Cropscience (subsidiary of Bayer).
GMO has been of both a great benefit and the same time disadvantageous. Below we will look at the advantages of GMO followed by their disadvantages.
With today’s rapid increase in the global population, food shortages and also with the research that shows that in every two seconds a child dies from starvation, high count of malnourished undernourished people, the use of GM foods and the technology behind it proves to be of benefit to both the farmers and the society at large. Some of the opportunities that GM foods give which are beneficial include:
- The creation of plants which are resistant to pest, weeds, and other diseases for example corn.
- Creating foods which have a longer shelf life to make shipping easier.
- Huge yields for the creation of more efficient use of land, decreased use of pesticides and herbicides.
- GM foods also have better flavor, nutritional value and texture.
- They create a vital sustainable way of feeding the world.
GMOs also have positive effects on the environment. The problem of soil sanity had been a headache in all agriculture and San Joaquin Valley was the major culprit of this. As such, crops have been made less able to grow and also in other cases they do not grow at all. As such, genetically modifications, there has been the introduction of a gene that is gotten from grey mangrove and Avicennian marina which is implanted in tobacco plant rendering it tolerant to salt stress and also ionic stress.
- The taste of GMOs may not be as good as that of “natural”.
- Causes harm to other organisms an example is genes and their effects when included in a crop may end up to be poison to organisms such as insects.
- May result to the spread of more resistant and new supper weeds and pests.
- It is also found that GMO products may be harmful to health and also pose a danger to the environment.
- There might be possible creation of new weapons that is genetic food and beverage weapons.
Monsanto is a leading company in the production of genetically engineered seeds which are of the herbicide glyphosate that it markets under the brand name Roundup. It was among the first companies to genetically modify a plant cell and also the first to make field trials of genetically modified crops. The Monsanto Company was first founded in Missouri and later in 1919 expanded to Europe. The company was also situated in Illinois, and in Ohio. The major market areas for their products were the U.S. and the U.K. Monsanto protected their interests via the Monsanto protection act which highlights special interests behind legislative processes. Many companies have in many years wanted to overcome Montano and now they have found break through for this.
The breakthrough of overcoming this company is as a result of people rejecting Montana’s products as they see the GMO products as harmful to their health hence boycotting the products. On may 25 2013, there were protests in Los Angeles against Monsanto. Also protests were held in 52 countries as well as 436 cities with demonstrators having waved signs reading “Real Food 4 Real People” and “Label GMOs, its Our Right to Know.” The people were protesting as the GMO foods had negative impacts on their health and thus they did not want them in their market. In order to get hold of companies like Monsanto, it would be of great essence for there to be put laws and regulations that would ensure that their products are not sold to the consumers if they do not desire them. Also it would be important for companies like them to well state the constituents of their products and some of the effects behind them so that decisions can be made on whether to use them or not to.
Robin, M.-M. (2011). The World According to Monsanto. New York: The New Press.