BT Corn: A Beneficial GMO Product (Shannon Pan)

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Prior to learning about GMO products and completing this task, I thought that GMO products were something to be avoided because I thought that they were unnatural and unhealthy. It had a negative connotation in my mind because I thought that altering the genetic makeup of foods would lead to unwanted health risks and side effects. I also thought that by genetically modifying crops, their nutritional value would decrease and the crops would be less natural for the human body to consume. Although I had negative opinions about GMO products, my ideas were very ignorant because I had never looked into how GMO products were made or considered any possible benefits.

My perspective on using GMO products has changed because now I am aware of the many benefits of GMO crops, especially BT corn. Before, I did not know the advantages of genetically modifying crops, such as disease-resistance, pest-resistance, drought tolerance, and much more. I realize now that GMO crops such as BT corn save farmers from using pesticides, fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals that are expensive and hurtful to the environment.  BT corn, for example, is genetically modified to be resistant to rootworm, a pest that feeds on roots and that can cause up to $1 billion worth of annual losses. This is just one of the benefits of BT corn. Without BT corn, farmers would face devastating losses and would not be able to produce as fruitful of a yield. I used to think that genetically modifying crops was mainly for the purpose of producing huge yields, but I now know that there are many other benefits of GMO products.

Advice that I would give to the congresswoman is to look into GMO products and carefully evaluate both sides. It is very possible that the advantages of having GMO crops outweigh the disadvantages, and in that case, it would be better to plant GMO crops. If the citizens of the country can greatly benefit in terms of health, economics, and decrease of starvation or famine with very little negative side effects, then it would be wise to use GMO crops. However, if the GMO crops would end up harming the environment or consumers more, then I would advise to not consider proposing GMO crops to the foreign delegate.

An alternative that I would propose to the proposition is to focus on improving the transportation infrastructure in the country. That way, foodstuffs and crops can be imported frequently from other countries nearby. Since the area is prone to drought, planting regular, non-GMO crops would probably not have successful yields.  By focusing on improving the technology and infrastructure of transportation, the country can get what they need from neighboring countries and perhaps establish a strong network of trade in and out of the country.

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3 thoughts on “BT Corn: A Beneficial GMO Product (Shannon Pan)

  1. Although BT corn was engineered to be an alternative to pesticides, there are recent incidents in which the insects that the corn in supposed to kill have actually become resistant to the BT protein. If this corn has a tendency to only work for a couple of seasons until the root worm adapts, would you still recommend BT corn to the congresswoman as a solution to the problem? Are there any other significant positive effects of this crop? Would you, possibly, recommend a different crop?

    -Madison Schoeberl

  2. I fully agree with many of your statements! I, myself, have been really ignorant to GMO, choosing to ignore rather than hear all the bad stuff. But now, I know that crops are genetically modified for all the right reasons! Almost all foods, genetically modified or not, should have a negative side effect if not taken in moderation. All the bad stuff seems to be what is publicized most often in the media, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that GMOs get a bad rap. I agree with your advice to Congresswoman da Silva! As per my research, I easily believe that the benefits of genetically modified foods greatly outweigh the risks. I have heard that the juicy corn we know today is the corn of which you are speaking in this post! If so, I will just keep on eating it then!
    – Arianna Dino

  3. I used to have the same views about genetically modified foods until I began to research BT corn, and I find it very interesting how many different benefits can come from the genetic modification. From what you said, it looks like between the pest deterrent and weather resistance, this corn sounds like an excellent crop to help feed the masses. I was just wondering what some of the possible disadvantages of the crop are? Does the protein produced by the corn entail harmful side effects to humans or are there aspects of the pest control etc. that complicate the farming process? Why are so many people against BT corn?

    -Olivia McKee

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