Topic: HistoryUnited States

Last updated: December 2, 2019

“Genetic Engineering: a New Look at Crops and Fruit”

Martin Guerrero

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“Genetic Engineering: a New Look at Crops and Fruit”
In the article “Genetically modified apples are headed to grocery stores in the Midwest”, the author Lydia Mulvaney argues that Arctic apples will encourage healthy habits, raise consumption of apples, and lower food waste for fruits. The author claims that genetically modified (GMO) apples take longer to brown, meaning the GMO apples would be very appealing to customers in markets and would cause an increase in fruit demand helping the economy. Enzymes are what cause the apples to turn brown but by shutting down the genetic material that produces that enzyme, the apples won’t turn brown. GMO crops have now become a main source for United States goods such as soybeans and corn crops, but fruits aren’t a main source for U.S. goods as corn and soybean. If the United States decides to start selling these genetically engineered apples in the markets, obesity in the nation would reduce and there will be a positive result for the economy as well. Positive results that could occur if companies begin to sell these GMO apples include, an increase in productivity by workers and a significant change in appearances for apples. In a survey that was conducted more than 90 percent of consumers say that they would be willing to purchase these GMO apples if they were sold in markets, meaning these apples would appeal to most consumers.
The article “Breeding Sanity into the GM Food Debate”, by Jerry Cayford states the argument of biotechnology playing a major role in the genetic modifying or engineering of food crops. The author claims that biotechnology is threatening the food supply because plants that are genetically modified (GM) are now being sent to corporations all over the world (Cayford, 2004). In other words, as biotechnology is becoming common, patents on GM plants are causing farmers to enter bankruptcy since corporation costs must be paid by farmers who use the patents on the GM plants grown. Jerry does a great job of supporting his claim because he states all of his supporting evidence, after he explains his claim on biotechnology becoming an issue in the genetic engineering of food crops. I agree with the author because he clearly examined the argument of biotechnology in the food supply of crops, by providing evidence of farmers being controlled by the patent system of GM plants driven by multinational corporations.
The article “Chefs’ attitudes in north-eastern US toward irradiated beef, Olestra, rBST and genetically engineered tomatoes”, by Mary L. Crowley, Donna J. Gaboury, and David Witt talks about the social and economic factors that impact labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients. These authors claim that cost, income and availability influence the labeling of food with GM materials because as chefs conducted a survey they found that consumers would purchase GM food, as long as the food would result in safety and health benefits (Crowley et al., 2002). Knowing there is safety and health benefits, consumers are willing to buy GM food as there are no risks when purchasing the food in stores or markets. Mary, Donna, and David all deliver a strong argument when stating their claims on the labeling of GM foods, since the evidence and support stated properly defend their positions on the argument on GM foods. I agree with the authors because they provided statistical evidence to support their claim, helping them defend their argument with surveys that were based on consumer behavior and thinking. Using surveys as statistical evidence is very useful because their argument is now supported by both the facts presented and the statistics given.
The article “Genetically Engineered Crops”, by Lance A. Davis argues that genetically engineered crops have now become a major debate topic because of the complications involving what crops are produced conventionally, or with genetic engineering methods. The author claims that GM crops are now a huge problem, since now any crop that is produced must be distinguished as either a genetically modified or conventional food crop that will be sold (Davis, 2016). Dispute has become very common within the agricultural community in the United States, as government agencies have begun to regulate and pay more attention to how agricultural businesses use technology to modify their food crops. Lance provides a strong argument for the issues in producing crops GM or not, but he backs up his claim even further by stating important facts about pest and herbicide resistance seen by GM crops. I agree with the author because stating significant facts about pest and herbicide resistance displayed by GM crops, shows that the author acknowledges procedures and traits that the GM crops display.
The article “Intellectual Property, Scientific Independence, and the Efficacy and Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops”, by Leland L. Glenna, John Tooker, Rick J. Welsh, and David Ervin that argue about GM crops having more intellectual property securities than normal crops. The authors claim that GM crops have more intellectual property securities because the environmental effects from genetically modified crops, can change the outcome of future advances in technology and beyond (Glenna et al., 2015). Based on information from the U.S. Constitution itself, the purpose of providing intellectual property defense in GM crops, is to support the development of science and to prevent companies from getting a hold of the patents given to GM crops. Leland, John, Rick, and David don’t provide enough evidence to support their argument since their facts on intellectual exclusive rights being developed for GM crops, still isn’t a proper argument as to why normal crops aren’t given those rights. I disagree with the authors because although they stated accurate facts about the exclusive rights for GM crops, it still is missing valuable examples for the reasons normal crops don’t have these rights.
The article “Can Genetically Engineered Crops Feed a Hungry World”, by C.S. Prakash talks about food companies believing that prohibiting genetically modified grains in food products is necessary for consumers. What the author is trying to argue is the fact that food companies are attempting to prohibit GM grain in foods, but they are missing the other important factor which is food companies dislike GM grains due to anti-biotech protestors (Prakash, 2000). The Frito-Lay food company has tried to convince corn producers to stop planting genetically modified corn, despite little consumer demand or need for this type of action. C.S. Prakash does a great job of stating evidence for his claim of why food companies disagree with GM grains. I agree with the author because he makes it clear that Frito-Lay ignores the information from science, while supporting his main claim.
Cayford, Jerry, 2004. “Breeding Sanity into the GM Food Debate”. Issues in Science and Technology, Vol. 20(2), winter 2004, pp.49-56.

Crowley, L. Mary; Gaboury, J Donna; Witt, David, 2002. “Chefs’ attitudes in north-eastern US toward irradiated beef, Olestra, rBST and genetically engineered tomatoes”. Food service technology, Vol. 2, December 2002, pp.173-181.

Davis, A. Lance, 2016. “Genetically Engineered Crops”. Vol. 2(3), September 2016, pp.268-269.

Glenna, L. Leland; Tooker, John; Welsh, J. Rick; Ervin, David, 2015. “Intellectual Property, Scientific Independence, and the Efficacy and Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops”. Rural Sociology, Vol. 80(2), June 2015, pp. 147-172.

Prakash, C.S., 2000. “Can Genetically Engineered Crops Feed a Hungry World”. July 2000, pp.25-26.


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