Potatoes: Genetically Modified for the Benefit (Megan Danko)




Before completing this task I had little knowledge or information on genetically modified organisms therefore I could not properly form a concluding stance on GMOs. Because I had never been exposed to them I had a belief that they were not needed and would not necessarily change our world for the better or worse. Generally when I thought of foods that were genetically altered and not in their original state they had a negative connotation to them. I had an automatic thought that if it had been transformed by technology it couldn’t be good nutritionally speaking. I hadn’t even begun to think about how it would affect us economically or environmentally. I had not weighed the disadvantages and advantages of GMOs before researching for the sake of this task.

Through our research of general GMOs I discovered this assumption to hold no substance. My stance on GMOs did change as I soon realized well over half of the foods that my family purchases from the grocery store are genetically modified. Further into my research I found that GMOs hold many benefits such as increasing crop production, increasing nutrition, increasing shelf life, increasing immunity to weeds and diseases, and allows for less use of pesticides and herbicides. Along with the benefits of GMOs there are also risks and concerns such as human health, environmental hazards, and economic concerns. Economically these products could widen the class gap, increase debt, or positively change the affect poverty has on world hunger.  There are going to be concerns such as antibiotic resistance, contamination, and allergens but those are run into with all consumption products not specifically GMOs.   In potatoes specifically we found that they are a very important crop and can be used in so many different ways in order to feed people, livestock, and even wild animals. They are separated for starches and even used in alcohol. Because processes such as these can be costly, genetic engineering allows for companies to offer a cost efficient way of growing potatoes as a raw, renewable material. In conclusion I have been led to believe that the use of genetically modified products should be supported as the benefits outweigh the risks.

In the congresswoman’s proposition to the foreign delegate I would recommend her to offer the use of GMO crops and money to support this program. More specifically I would recommend Da Silva to introduce the use of genetically engineered potatoes. Through my team’s research we have found potatoes to be very sustainable, nutritional, and long lasting in addition to not needing to be refrigerated. The use of GMOs in general in this developing country can strengthen their economy, close their economic gap, decrease hunger and poverty, and strengthen their environment as a whole.  As an adjunct to this proposition I would push for there to be more research in the field of GMOs to ensure that the use of it does in fact work as we believe it should.  For America I would propose for a trading agreement to be made in order to benefit both countries’ economies. I would also like to see this country’s government start a program in order to educate people on the production, development, and use of these products. Just as Da Silva said wanted to go off of this plan promotes the “give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, feed him for his lifetime” mentality. In the end I would agree with her brother-in-law, a biotech company research scientist, as the possible benefits of GMOs could change every aspect of this country for the better.


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