Band 9 essay about GM foods
For a long time there has been concern about the quality of the food we eat because of additives and contaminants. Recently genetically modified (GM) food has become more common, causing concern. Is this concern justified or not?
People are getting more and more concerned about the quality of food they eat. The rich and the famous have already switched to organic foods. Such foods are costly and nutritious. Unfortunately, few people can afford them. Those who cannot afford to buy organic foods are also making a conscious effort to choose foods wisely. They refuse to buy foods containing additives and preservatives. Some of them are also against genetically modified foods. They are worried that GM foods might cause diseases like cancer. However, till date, we haven’t got anything to prove that GM foods cause cancer.
GM foods have been around for over 20 years. Contrary to popular belief these foods have not been linked to cancer or another disease. There have been several studies, but none managed to prove that GM crops cause cancer.
Organic foods are certainly healthier than GM foods, but their affordability is an issue. Organic foods don’t contain pesticides. Since pesticides are not used, their yield per hectare is low. Because of these reasons organic foods are way beyond the reach of common man. By contrast GM foods are cheaper. GM plants are resistant to droughts, floods and pests. They can be grown using very little water. Also, they can resist pests. They provide better yields and hence prices are low.
Over the last few decades, there has been a dramatic increase in world population. The world population is expected to reach 8 billion within the next few years. When there is an increase in population, the need for food also increases. In such a scenario, the only practical solution is to grow more GM foods. Unless our scientists find a healthier and cheaper option, GM foods are here to stay.
To conclude, people have the freedom to decide what they should eat. If they are particularly concerned about GM foods, they don’t have to eat such foods. However, in my opinion, these fears are baseless. Many people simply overlook the major benefits of GM foods and instead focus on their unproven negative effects.