“Genetically Modified Food Could Harm the Environment” edited by Nancy Harris In the article “Genetically Modified Food Could Harm the Environment”, Harris says that genetically engineering technology has unpredictable effects on the environment. Harris claims that genetically modified food has risks of environment and humans.
Harris describes that the consequences of genetically modified food can not only increase allergic reactions to people, but also cause antibiotic resistance, environment toxins and fungi. Genetically modified crops can transfer allergens into other organisms, so some people may not know to avoid. Harris expresses that most genetically modified food has efficient antibiotic resistance genes. The existing of antibiotic resistance genes in food have two bad effects on fighting diseases and letting humans and animals body resist to antibiotics. Many organisms create toxic substance in order to protect them from predators. However, some people add new genes to move toxic substances from soil; then, toxic substances are transformed to the metal-contaminated part of plants. This process will bring the potential risks of food.
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Also, Harris believes that GMOs may become weeds that affect agriculture and destroy ecosystem. It is easy for plants to have ability to grow quickly and become weeds. In addition, using herbicides widespread will cause herbicides tolerance; many insects will not be resisted by pesticides; many vegetarian animals will go dead because of GMOs. In short, GMOs may lead to biodiversity loss. I agree that genetically modified food will cause antibiotic-resistance, tolerance-resistance, and soil toxicity that impacts the environment. The antibiotic-resistant genes could be transferred to human or animal pathogens so that antibiotics will have no effect on them. However, if resistant genes transfer to the digestive system, it will affect human and animal health. Farmers use herbicides and pesticides which contain large amounts of antibiotics to fight against bacterial diseases and promote the growth of crops, so the antibiotic resistant genes may flow into crops.
Therefore, herbicide-tolerant crops will disturb the balance of the ecosystem, which may lead native species to become extinct and cause the diversity of species to decrease. Farmers use chemical methods to reduce harm from weeds and pests, but this is an ineffective and short-sighted solution. On the contrary, this change makes farmers use more chemicals to reduce weeds and pests. Therefore, agrochemical residues can be found in different places throughout the environment, such as in soil. Because farmers use herbicides or other antibiotics on crops, the residues still exist on crops. It is possible for genes to flow into soil, and residual herbicides on plants will infiltrate into the soil. If soil becomes seriously toxic, it may affect people’s lives.
Genetically modified crops usually lead to monoculture, which means planting of a single crop in an entire field can negatively influence the environment. Therefore, we have the responsibility to make the earth more livable.