Table of Content
- Literature review
Today, with the increasing issues of food security, scientists have come up with various alternatives to reduce such problems. Most communities today live in areas where growing sufficient food to meet the day-to-day demand is impossible. One of the factors contributing to reducing the amount of food produced is weather and climate change. Climate change has affected the way people grew crops. Some areas in the past used to receive sufficient rainfall to support the growth of crops. However, today, such trends have changed, resulting in reduced rainfall and increased drought. Scientists have come up with alternatives that are seen to provide the ultimate solution to guaranteeing food security. The idea of genetically modified foods has received diverse opinions from different communities. Some people argue that genetically modified foods are not safe for human consumption. Other people claim that genetically modified foods are the ultimate alternative for achieving food security. This paper seeks to outline some of the conflicting viewpoints concerning the issue of genetically modified foods.
Background of Study
Genetic modification technolo9gy has acted as one of the most common developments achieved in various areas of application. Genetic technologies have applied in diverse areas such as medicine and, lately, in agriculture. In agriculture, food production has been subject to further analysis seeking to come up with drought-resistant plants and short-term-high yield products. The primary goal for the creation of such crops and technologies is based on the desire to eliminate the current problem witnessed in most communities as far as food security is concerned (Çakır, Meriç & Arı, 2016). Many organizations today do not have mechanisms for achieving maximum food production based on the prevailing changes in the environment.
Population increase and pressure have created a gap in the environment based on the idea that more people require additional food production measures to guarantee sustainability. However, the changes witnessed today in the ground about climate change have affected the way communities grow crops. Lack of enough rains to support the growing of crops has become one of the significant challenges which have affected the various organizations today. This study is based on the understanding that numerous viewpoints have been given concerning genetically modified foods’ safety and consumption. Some of the issues arising include health concerns from a safety point of view. However, genetically modified food has provided a reliable alternative for achieving food security (Teng, Heng & Abdullah, 2018).
Over the past years, numerous communities have suffered draughts and famines due to food shortage. Food shortage has affected multiple populations across the globe based on diverse reasons and factors such as natural disasters, drought, and, most of all, climate change. As a result, scientists have carried out studies aimed at providing a solution to such problems. One of the solutions arrived at involves the use of genetically modified foods. However, criticism has come out challenging the significance of genetically modified foods compared to the naturally grown crops. Also, diverse populations perceive genetically modified foods as unsafe for human consumption from a health perspective.
On the other hand, experts argue that genetically modified foods act as the ultimate solution to shortages’ witnessed problems. This paper seeks to outline the factors which can be used to determine the effectiveness and disadvantages of genetically modified foods. Genetically modified food has been criticized based on the concepts of health concerns. However, genetically modified food may provide the ultimate solution to counter shortages witnessed today and guarantee sustainability.
The study’s purpose is to outline some of the benefits and disadvantages associated with the use of genetically modified food today. The paper will also outline whether genetically modified food can be used to achieve sustainability in the future and to eliminate the issues of increased shortages.
This paper’s primary research question seeks to collect information about the use of genetically modified food as a solution to the witnessed shortages today.
RQ1: Could genetically modified food be used as a solution to handle the witnessed cases of increased shortages?
RQ2: What are the benefits and drawbacks of using genetically modified food?
Rationale For Methodology
To collect the required evidence,m this paper will use a qualitative approach. This methodology will allow the piece to explore case studies and then document the general themes outlined by diverse authors. The paper’s success will be based on the ability to present the broad patterns that the explored case studies give based on the benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified foods.
Definition of Terms
GMO. Genetically modified organisms are created after altering the DNA makes up of a given entity based on diverse reasons.
GMF. Genetically modified foods are products obtained from genetically altered crops and animals.
GMC. Genetically modified crops are plants whose genes and DNA have been altered to meet researchers’ or scientists’ needs.
Background to the Problem
Today, food security remains one of the primary goals for most governments across the globe. People from diverse communities are facing starvation if urgent measures will not be implemented. Food security has been a significant challenge for most organizations based on the prevailing environmental and population pressure changes, among other crucial factors. Genetically modified food has been seen as a solution that promises to resolve the issues of shortages. However, genetically modified food presents both advantages and disadvantages to the consumers and the community. Addressing these issues may play a crucial role in making the ultimate decision about the effectiveness of genetically modified foods.
Theory of the Paper
Numerous studies have competed concerning the issue of genetically modified foods. The primary topics of concern that revolve around the use of genetically modified foods revolve around safety. Numerous conspiracy theories have been outlined over the past criticizing the use of genetically modified foods. One of the major conspiracy theories mentioned in history revolves around the perception that genetically modified foods are associated with harming consumers. However, limited evidence has been brought forth to support this conspiracy theory.
On the other hand, another theory revolves around the notion that genetically modified food has been linked to profit-making missions by the respective agencies, which in the end would create food shortages deliberately to create a market for GMFs. However, limited support has been provided to back up these claims. One of the significant issues that have come up over the years is the safety of genetically modified foods. This section outlines the past literature, which in this context will help to gather more information about the advantages and disadvantages of using GMFs today.
Magaña‐Gómez & de la Barca (2017) carried out a study to document the health concerns revolving around the use of genetic modifications on foods. Genetically modified foods, according to this study, have been associated with increased health disadvantages to the consumers. Some of the most common concerns outlined in the long run include high health issues such as cancer. However, this study claims that even though GMFs have been in use since 1994, there has not been a common platform used in assessing the potential implications of these foods on consumers’ health. For instance, experts cannot use a standardized approach in determining the overall impact of the consumption of genetically modified foods on the health of the populations.
However, this study claims that the current literature outlines adverse effects, such as increased cancer risks. The problem of cancer has been attributed to the gene alteration of the crops’ average growth and, hence, the final products. On the other dimension, genetically modification of crops is linked to altering the affected crops’ DNA. In the process, such operations have been made aimed at increasing food production. In this context, genetically modified crops have resulted in increased food production, reducing shortages. Further, genetically modified food has provided an alternative for short term remedies in most communities. Through genetic modification, certain crops have been made which have the capacity to grow in areas where ordinary plants may not, therefore, providing the ultimate solution to tackle droughts and famine.
On the other hand, a study documented by Ozkok (2015) meant to collect information about the perceptions of the consumers from different parts of the globe on the knowledge, benefits, and disadvantages of using genetically modified foods. In this study, some of the concerns which act as the ultimate disadvantages of using genetically modified foods include increases risks of contracting cancer, among other issues. For instance, the use of genetically modified goods may bring about antibiotic resistance to consumers’ bodies. This incident is brought about by the use of crops and foods which have been grown through genetic alteration to enhance production. Also, another risk associated with the help of genetically modified foods includes increased toxicity. Oon this context, it is worth noting that genetic alteration may bring about issues such as mutations. Mutations may result in increased food production while, on the other hand, increase the level of toxic materials on the final products. The article claims that the consumers’ negative perceptions about the use of genetically modified foods have created a gap in the global acceptance of such developments in technology and agriculture.
Another study by Long (2014) provides an insight into the acceptance of genetically modified crops and foods worldwide. The article outlines the increasing intensity in the debate on the consumption of genetically modified foods across the globe. Regardless of the perceived benefits provided by scientists, consumers, and other entities have come out strong on such crops’ health issues (Zhang, Wohlhueter & Zhang, 2016). The article outlines some of the health hazards that the past literature provides, including risks of cancer and toxic foods’ consumption, among others. The primary benefit outlined by the study, in this case, is the potential increase in the production of food and the creation of superior crops. In other words, those are capable of growing in the harshest conditions leading to a guarantee of food security in the future.
Statement of the Problem
The primary issue of concern for this study is evaluating the benefits and drawbacks revolving around the consumption of genetically modified foods. In this context, numerous conflicting views have been provided, leading to creating a debate on the potential benefits of using GMFs as the ultimate solution to food shortages across the globe. It is impossible, to tell the truth about the health concerns and other issues outlined about GMOs’ consumption compared to the associated benefits. Such a debate has made it hard to digest the potential advantages that GMFs bring to the consumers.
RQ1: Amidst the continuing debate, what are the benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified foods?
This study is guided by a qualitative strategy of collecting and analyzing data. In this context, the course utilizes case studies as the ultimate approach for gathering evidence to support the presented research question. The selection of case studies is based on the understanding that the most recent studies and literature can provide the ultimate solution to the proposed research questions. It is also essential to collect information about the general community’s perceptions about the consumption of genetically modified foods. Therefore, to collect such information, the study uses an open-ended online survey.
Population and Sample Selection
This study focuses on collecting information from general consumers and scientific experts. The evidence by scientists will be collected from the most recent scholarly and peer-reviewed literature. On the other hand, evidence from the consumers will be collected from the general community. The studies’ selection is based on the year of publication and the authors’ level of expertise. All classes that provide information about the current debate on the consumption of GMFs fall within the past five years and are scholarly and peer-reviewed qualify for consideration. The general community is selected randomly.
Sources of Data
As mentioned above, the primary data source for this study is the general perception of the consumers. The secondary data source for the research revolves around the most recent studies published within the past five years and speaks about the benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified crops and foods.
Ozkok (2015) documented the results of surveys about consumers’ perceptions of the use of genetically modified foods. Most of the young people claimed that they did not have sufficient knowledge about the concepts of GMOs and GMFs. About 40% of the respondents claimed that they did not trust GMFs based on safety and health concerns. In another study targeting students, 71% claimed that the knowledge they had about GMFs was insufficient. Hence, it is challenging to allow them to make informed decisions about safety issues and the perceived benefits. In the same study, 36% of the students claimed that they had enough knowledge and information about GMFs. From another dimension, the survey concluded that 72.21% of the respondents claimed that the consumption of GMFs would, in the long run, increase the risks of contracting cancer. Also, 73.2% of the respondents said that they believed that GMFs are foods that contain hormones injected to enhance their production and shelf life. Therefore, with such perceptions, it follows that a large proportion of the participants would not consume genetically modified foods. However, the primary finding here is that the rate of consumption of GMFs based on a lack of sufficient knowledge about GMOs. And, as opposed to concrete evidence of actual cases resulting in health concerns.
The collection of data to support the research mentioned above, executed in two primary phases. The first phase involved the selection of the participants to engage in the online survey. In this case, the researcher selected the participants at random. Random selection of participants gave the population an equal chance of participation; therefore, guaranteeing fairness. In this phase, the researcher sent out invitations to the target populations through their email addresses. The researcher then sent out the surveys containing the instructions for completion and submission.
The second phase involved the collection of information from secondary sources. In this context, the researcher analyzed the topic and selected the primary keywords to use—keywords such as GMFs, gene editing in crops, and risks of GMFs, among others, used. Ultimately, the study focused on the literature articles published in the past five years and those that fall under the category of peer-reviewed and scholarly sources. The documentation of evidence was based on evaluating the general perceptions and themes that the references provided.
In conclusion, the study is based concluded by the evaluation of perceptions which the participants provided and the themes discovered within the classes. The reviews provided more negative effects associated with the consumption of GMFs as opposed to their benefits. Issues such as health concerns were the most common factors which affected the adoption and consumption rate of GMFs. Hence, GMFs have been seen as a solution to rectifying food shortage. It is worth noting that most people do not seem to appreciate the contributions made in the long run. At the same time, this is based on the perceived adverse effects and conspiracy theories provided. The general population claim that GMFs are not safe for consumption. Most of the people in the community do not have sufficient knowledge about GMFs. More research is needed to evaluate the potential effects GMFs may bring to the general population, especially from a health perspective.
- Long, K. D. (2014). Notes on genetically modified organisms, perception of their benefits, risks and potential hazards. TAP CHI SINH HOC, 35(4), 397-416.
- Ozkok, G. A. (2015). Genetically Modified Foods and the Probable Risks of Human Health. Int. J. Nutr. Food Sci, 4(3), 356-363.
- Magaña‐Gómez, J., & de la Barca, A. M. C. (2017). Human Health Concerns Related to the Consumption of Foods from Genetically Modified Crops. Environmental Pest Management: Challenges for Agronomists, Ecologists, Economists and Policymakers, 275.
- Çakır, Ö., Meriç, S., & Arı, Ş. (2016). GMO Analysis Methods for Food: From Today to Tomorrow. Food Safety: Innovative Analytical Tools for Safety Assessment, 123, 123.
- Teng, P. K., Heng, B. L. J., & Abdullah, S. I. N. W. (2018). Consumers’ Switching Preference from Conventional Food to Genetically Modified Food. Asia Proceedings of Social Sciences, 2(3), 24-28.
- Zhang, C., Wohlhueter, R., & Zhang, H. (2016). Genetically modified foods: A critical review of their promise and problems. Food Science and Human Wellness, 5(3), 116-123.
The Utilized Survey
Please complete the survey below with the relevant information. It is valid to leave a question blank. Kindly do not attack personal information like email addresses or phone numbers on the survey to maintain anonymity and protect the respondents’ privacy.
|Do you understand the concepts of genetically modified foods (GMFs)?|
|Have you encountered such foods in the market?|
|What was your experience with GMFs?|
|Would you recommend GMFs to relatives or friends?|
|Would you consume GMGs?|
|Finally, in a few words, what are some of the benefits and disadvantages of GMFs?|