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Are GMOs good or bad? Show more Show less

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are organisms (plants and animals) that have had specific genes from a different species inserted into its own DNA. This results in the crop having new desirable features. Examples include papayas that are virus-resistant or corn that is herbicide-resistant. Our food has been genetically modified since the first GMO tomato (Flvr Svr) in the early 1990s. The acceptance of GMOs has varied between countries; the United States, Argentina, and Canada have quickly adopted GMOs while the EU countries have passed stricter legislation. There is a heated debate over whether GMOs are good or bad for our health, environment, world hunger, and the economy.

GMOs are bad Show more Show less

GMOs come with health, environmental, and legal/economic risks.
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GMOs are harmful to the environment

GMOs hurt the environment by increasing the use of herbicides and decreasing biodiversity by homogenizing the seeds.
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Context

The Argument

There are several ways that GMOs are harmful to the environment. First, herbicide-resistant crops resulted in a massive increase in the use of herbicides like glyphosate (a probable carcinogen) because they can spray to kill the weeds and not worry about damaging the crops.[1] The increase of herbicide-resistant crops is creating a rapid increase in superweeds that are resistant to herbicide leading to farmers having to do more tillage (which erodes the soil) and use even stronger herbicides.[2]These herbicides hurt the animals and then get into the water. Another problem is that the widespread use of GMOs is destroying crop biodiversity. For example, the U.S. has lost 6,000 out of 7,000 of its apple varieties.[2]This is detrimental to our agriculture and to the ecosystem.

Counter arguments

GMOs are good for the environment because they use fewer pesticides and waste less water.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Herbicide-resistant crops meant that farmers could spray more herbicide to kill weeds. [P2] Weeds became resistant to the herbicide. [P3] Farmers had to use stronger herbicides or do more tillage (which erodes the soil). [P4] These toxic chemicals get into the water and hurt the animals. [P5] GMOs are destroying biodiversity by homogenizing the seeds.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.ewg.org/agmag/2016/03/are-gmos-bad-environment
  2. https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/reports/1770/seed-giants-vs-us-farmers

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 5 May 2020 at 20:47 UTC