15 Dec 2022


The Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms

Format: MLA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 562

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The deliberate manipulation of the genes is known as genetic engineering. The techniques lead to the production of organisms with desired characteristics. These organisms are referred to as genetically modified organisms. So many organisms have had their genes altered. However, this paper focusses on Bt crops. These crops are named after the bacteria used in altering their genes, known as Bacillus thuringiensis ( Prusak, Rowe & Strojny, 2014) . These crops have been altered to produce toxins that are produced by the bacteria. There are both positive and negative effects of these crops. This paper looks at these two sides with respect to the society, health, and environmental effects. 

Social effects : The Bt crops such as Bt cotton and Bt maize have revolutionized agriculture. In the past farmers were faced with a lot of challenges in handling pests. These challenges increase the cost of production. However, with Bt crops, there are several operations that are no longer necessary substantially reducing the costs. Food sufficiency is another positive effect of Bt crops. Since the crops are not destroyed in the field, the harvest increases. The result of this is the production of enough food to support the society ( Prusak, Rowe & Strojny, 2014) . Additionally, the increased harvest guarantees return on investment. This improves the living conditions of individuals in the society. 

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The only negative effect of Bt crops is the fact that they make farmers dependent. These crops do not self-reproduce. The farmers are forced to depend on biotechnology companies like Monsanto, for seeds. This high level of dependency makes the society susceptible to discrimination ( Rzymski & Królczyk, 2016)

Health: The positive effect of Bt crops on health is the fact that there is reduced use of pesticides. Most of these pesticides are poisonous to the body. With Bt crops, no amount of these poisonous chemicals gets into the body system ( Kramkowska, Grzelak & Czyzewska, 2013) . The only negative health effect of these crops is the fear of the cry-protein toxicity and allergenicity getting into the digestive system and compromising human health ( Kramkowska, Grzelak & Czyzewska, 2013)

Environment: The positive effects of Bt crops regards gene flow. The genes for pest resistance may find their way in other non-Bt crops would make these plants have desired characteristics. The result of this would be an improved flora ( Robbins, 2014)

The negative effects of Bt on the environment is concerning the fact that releasing these crops to the environment results in gene transfer to the wild ones or other conventional crops. The effect of this would be the loss of biodiversity ( Robbins, 2014) . With time, the original types of plants would be difficult to find. The future generation may not get see plants that exist today. 


In summary, since the introduction of these crops, there are several benefits that have been derived. These plants have not only reduced the cost of production but have also increased the level of harvest, thus, improving the living standards of the society. However, despite these benefits, there are some disadvantages that also exist. For instance, the gene transfer that may lead to loss of biodiversity and the dependence of farmers on biotechnology companies for seeds. The debate on whether GMOs should be adopted or not is bound to continue. However, there is a need for comprehensive research to obtain the benefits and the disadvantages that have accrued since the inception of the use of these plants. It is only through such research studies that people will be able to decide on whether the GMOs are good or not. 


Kramkowska, M., Grzelak, T., & Czyzewska, K. (2013). Benefits and risks associated with genetically modified food products.   Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine ,   20 (3). 

Prusak, A., Rowe, G., & Strojny, J. (2014). Is GMO" Sustainable"? A Review of the Environmental Risks of GM Plants in Comparison with Conventional and Organic Crops.   Modern Management Review ,   19 (21 (4)), 187-200. 

Robbins, P. B. (2014). GMO Reignited in Science but Not in Law: A Flawed Framework Fuels France's Stalemate.   Food & Drug LJ ,   69 , 429. 

Rzymski, P., & Królczyk, A. (2016). Attitudes toward genetically modified organisms in Poland: to GMO or not to GMO?.   Food Security ,   8 (3), 689-697. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). The Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms.


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