Genetically modified crops – GMOs have been controversial topic ever since its coming into the market. Companies like Monsanto and others are expressing concerns about exponential growing in population and their need to provide food with GMOs and on the other hand the farmers around the world, especially in the United States have raised concerns about patents over seeds and expenses they have because they need to buy the seeds every year. The concerns about the diversity of crops, negative effects on the environment and animals, health concerns and possible food insecurity are coming from different backgrounds. The paper will focus on explaining what GMOs mean for India and Mexico. The thesis of the paper follows: GMOs are morally questionable because of the side effects they can have on the environment, food security, health and because the cause additional financial burden on the farmers.
In India many have protested against the GMOs since the introduction of it did not bring the desired goals. The poor harvest and too much usage of pesticides was the consequence. The GM cotton was attacked by various pests and the farmer needed to use chemical in higher proportions. The price of the cotton produced also differed. The studies were carried out in the country where the Monsanto Bt cotton has been introduced and showed that the attacks from pests increase of 250-300 % and gave very low yields, which resulted in the low price of the cotton on the market and therefore the reduced income for the farmers. The promotion of the GM cotton was more yields, but it resulted in 3 to 5 times less as it was promoted (1.2-4 quintals: 15 quintals). The farmers’ income decreased and suffered because of low yields and for about the five times smaller staple size. The morally questions were also the acting of the Monsanto with introducing the study that made the opposite conclusion such as up to 80% more yield with manipulating data from the trial plots which can have a great impact on the decision to implement the GMOs under the false pretenses. With the loss of diversity the possible outbreak of pests can have a devastating consequence. For Indian farms the Bt cotton did not give higher yields nor increased the incomes of the farmer (Jafri & Shiva, 2016; Robin, 2010).
Mexico has introduced the GMOs law that suggested that prior to the release GMOs must go through the studies and approval from the experimental release. The release into the environment must follow safety precautions (Mexico’s Law on Biosecurity of Genetically Modified Organisms, 2013). There were also protests against the GMO corn in the Mexico state. There are dozens of native mazes grown in the country and with the introduction of GM corn the biodiversity in endangered. In the country the research was made regarding the introduced GM corn in 2001 and found out that they found in the half of the farms the contamination of corn. Also in Mexico there were manipulations of scientific data and campaign seen by Monsanto (Robin, 2010). In 2002 the study (Halweil, Niernberg, Huvane, Saoshiro) concluded that genetically engineered corn contamination spreads its pollen by wind and has effects on the near filed of growing. Prior to the 1998 introduced a law to ban the GMO by the government the genetically engineered corn was widespread in Mexico. The scientists found genetic material that was harmful to the butterflies, moths and insects and can produce toxins than can easily spread around. The health concerns were also raised. Farmers in Mexico are facing the pollution of Mexican crops. The country consumes the most maize in the world which can represent the food security risk by reducing the biodiversity. There were high risks connected with low rewards, since the Monsanto promised the 10 % yield advantage s. The traditional way of Mexican farmers could be endangered. With the reducing the labor and spraying entire fields with round-up killer would not solve the poverty problem in the Mexico (World Watch Institute, n.d.).
World Health Organization report (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2015) of Roundup weed killer raised concerns since the assessment was made that it “probably” causes cancer. We have seen than cultural differences exists in both countries and that in both controversial issues appeared connected with environmental affect that effect all farmers with potential contamination of soil. Human health concerns were raise, because of the using the pesticides and financial burdens because the seed is modified and can be yielded only once, which means the farmers are obliged to buy it every year. With introduction of GMOs also traditional patters of lifestyle and work and even life change. Another pressing concern is also the manipulation of data from the main provider of GMOs in both countries. Social impact connected with GMO is great as was seen in protest held as in Mexico and in India. GMOs impact food, safety, production and way of living. GMOs are morally questionable because of the side effects they can have on the environment, food security, and health and because they cause additional financial burden on the farmers as has shown to be true in both cases. The real question remains open: are GMOs really the key to feeding the world?
Halweil, Biran, Nierenberg, Danielle, Huvane, Kathleen, Saoshiro, Uta. (2002). Outlawed GMO Corn Shows up in Mexico. World Watch. Retrieved http://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:2069/ehost/detail/detail?sid=e54e64a6-a904-493b- 93b615f0245baeff%40sessionmgr198&vid=0&hid=110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3Q tbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=5819859&db=mth
International Agency for Research on Cancer. (2015). IARC Monographs Volume 112: Evaluation of Five Organophosphate Insecticides and Herbicides. Retrieved http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf
Jafri, H. Asfar, Shiva, Vandana. (2016). Failure of GMOs in India. Research Foundation for Science. Technology and Ecology.
Mexico’s Law on Biosecurity of Genetic Modified Organisms. (2013).Retrieved http://www.loc.gov/law/help/restrictions-on-gmos/mexico.php
Robin, Marie-Monique. (2010). The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of Our Food Supply. New York: The New Press.
World Watch Institute. (n.d.). Risking Corn, Risking Culture. Retrieved http://www.worldwatch.org/node/525