Essay On Biotechnology Boon Or Bane

Points of View: Genetically Modified Foods: Boon or Bane?

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Genetically Modified Foods: Boon or Bane?

If the population continues to expand and if plant diseases continue unchecked, soils are depleted, and our supply of traditional food sources is depleted by overconsumption and slow renewal, we may face severe food shortages in coming decades. Some scientists and food producers believe that genetically modified (GM) food crops could help solve problems of matching food supply to demand, but many other researchers and health advocates are opposed to the further development and widespread use of genetically modified foods, which they feel carry health risks and could have a negative impact on the ecosystem. Below are some of the main points for and against the development of GM organisms for food.

Arguments for the Development of GM Foods

Arguments Against the Development of GM Foods

  • People have been manipulating food crops-primarily through selective breeding-since the beginning of agriculture. Genetic modification is fundamentally the same thing, just more precise.
  • Genetically modified seeds and products are tested for safety, and there has never been a substantiated claim for a human illness resulting from consumption of a GM food.
  • By modifying the DNA in foods that cause allergies, we may be able to prevent many foodborne allergies.
  • Genetically modified crops can have a positive impact on the environment. Current agricultural practices are very environmentally damaging, whereas insect- and weed-resistant GM crops will allow farmers to use far fewer chemical insecticides and herbicides.
  • Genetically modified crops have the potential to reduce world hunger: They can be created to grow more quickly than conventional crops, increasing productivity and allowing for faster cycling of crops, which means more food yield. In addition, nutrient-enhanced crops can address malnutrition, and crops engineered to resist spoiling or damage can allow for transportation to areas affected by drought or natural disaster.
  • Genetically modified crops are under development to produce and deliver vaccines. This is vitally important to protecting the health of people in developing nations and preventing epidemics.
  • Genetic modification is fundamentally different from and more problematic than selective breeding because it transfers genes between species in ways that could never happen naturally.
  • There haven’t been enough independent studies of GM products to confirm that they are safe for consumption. Also, there are potential health risks if GM products approved for animal feed or other uses are mistakenly or inadvertently used in the production of food for human consumption.
  • The use of GM crops cannot be completely controlled, so they have the potential to damage the environment. Inadvertent cross-pollination could lead to the creation of “super weeds”; insect-resistant crops could harm insect species that are not pests; and insect- and disease-resistant crops could prompt the evolution of even more virulent species, which would then require more aggressive control measures, such as the increased use of chemical sprays.
  • There is the potential for genetic engineering to introduce allergens into otherwise nonallergenic foods.
  • Because corporations create and patent GM seeds, they will control the market, meaning that poor farmers in the developing world would become reliant on these corporations. This circumstance would be more likely to increase world hunger than to alleviate it.
  • Creating and patenting new life forms is unethical. The introduction of foreign genes into a plant-particularly genes taken from an animal-is offensive to many religious and cultural groups and upsets the balance of nature.

Where do you stand?


Asian J. of Adv. Basic Sci.: 2(2), 2014, 12-16  ISSN (Online): 2347 - 4114


Biotechnology in society - Boon or Bane: A Case Study

Aftab Jahan Begum K. A.

 Department of Bio-Technology, Acharya Institute of Technology, Bangalore, INDIA  Email ID: 25 Apr, 2014, Accepted 19 May, 2014)


ABSTRACT: Biotechnology, with its knowledge-intensive nature and tremendous economic potential, has emerged as one of the rapidly-growing sectors of the Indian knowledge economy today. Focusing on the practical use of biological systems to produce goods and services, biotechnology has made significant achievements in the growth and its application in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, environment, etc through R & D projects and infrastructure creation. Biotechnology seemed to have improved the conditions of Living but the way information has been communicated and the way decisions are made; affect perception and public support or opposition to a new technology. Biotechnology is not a system of farming; It reflects no specific philosophy nor is it guided by a set of principles or performance criteria. It is a bag of tools than can be used for good or evil, and lots in between. Hence, the debate over the value of biotechnology in the society is polarized and impassioned. This paper clearly evaluates the rewards of this field into the society and its disfavours from the public. Keywords:

Biotechnology, Society, genetic modification, Friend, Foe.



India has a wealth of natural resources with the potential to drive economic growth and social development: land, minerals, biological diversity, wildlife, forests, fisheries and water, although these are unevenly distributed. India’s economy and people are vulnerable to environmental hazards such as droughts and floods, the frequency and extremity of which is likely to be increased by climate change. It is experiencing faster degradation of many environmental resources. Problems include land degradation, desertification, and biodiversity loss, deforestation, declining soil productivity, pollution and depletion of freshwater. One of the central messages emerging from the assessment of India’s status in the global economy is the need for India to emphasize building its capacity to solve its own problems. Every  problem enumerated above has one or more solutions in the application of science, technology and innovation. Application of science and technology has contributed significantly to defining an economic divide between rich and poor nations. It follows, therefore, that the rate of scientific and technological development largely determines the pace of socio-economic development. To close the gap between rich and poor nations it will require deliberate measures to build scientific and technological capabilities of the  poor countries. Biotechnology- A scientific term formed when two words are put together: 'Bio', which stands for  biology, the science of life; and 'Technology', the tools and techniques used to achieve a particular  purpose. The term Biotechnology was coined by Karoly Ereky, a Hungarian agricultural economist who, in 1917, foresaw the inevitability of a biology-technology merger. He is regarded by some as the "father" of biotechnology. The entrance of this new field into the lexicon of environmental controversies coincided with increasing awareness of the nefarious effects of industrialization, and with the greater scrutiny of our faith in science and technological progress. Mapping the discourse of biotechnology


franken- foods, golden rice, monarch butter 

flies, miracle drugs, and counterclaims about food safety and

security, ecological stewardship, medical progress, and social justice.

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