Thursday, October 21, 2010

GM food, the next solution?

The world's population is increasing at a rapid rate, and the supply of food cannot meet up with the ever increasing demands of the world's needs. Countries have poured in billions in dollars for research in genetically modified food (GM food) in the hope in solving this problem. In my opinion, I believe that there are two sides two a coin about this matter.

GM food as we know, is something new. Scientists are still uncertain about the short-term and long-term effects that GM foods might bring, towards humans, and the environment. For all you know, after consuming these foods, we might find the next generation born deformed. Or the plants and animals we know today mutated into something new. And with these new unknown changes taking place, it might disrupt the many cycles that keep the ecosystem in equilibrium, creating more problems!

GM food crops can be genetically modified to be resistant to various diseases, herbicides and pesticides, but when the climate changes, or when a new disease infects the crop, the whole crop will suffer and dies. This is because somehow, genetically modified crops lose the ability to adapt to these changes. For example, if the Earth's temperature were to rise by 1 degree Celsius worldwide, all the GM food crops will be affected, and this will result in billions of dollars in losses, and we might find ourselves without food.

By planting GM food crops can also bring unintended harm to other organisms. For example, in the United States, they planted genetically modified corn. And scientists have found out that a certain species of butterfly population, Monarch butterflies, has decreased at an alarming rate. This clearly indicates GM crops might bring harm to other organisms. Imagine if genetically modified grain causes chickens to die when consumed by them, we would find the world without chickens within months!

Although GM food has its cons, we cannot deny the fact that it has its pros too. With GM crops planted, less area can now produce more! Imagine 10 acres of land can now produced 10,000 tonnes of grain instead of the normal 2,000 tonnes. It's an increase by 5 times! Therefore, the world's food problem can be solved in no time. GM food can also genetically modified to be of a higher nutritional value. A scientist can now insert genes that can make the fruits of the plant contain more nutrients. Take an orange for an instance, scientists can take a good gene of a tomato and implant it in an orange. This means the orange can now have the nutritional value of BOTH the orange and the tomato. It's 2 in 1!

In conclusion, although GM foods solve the world's food problems, there are many unseen and unknown effects towards mankind and the environment that might be disastrous. Therefore, I believe that we should tread carefully and carry out extensive tests before we plant GM crops.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Toilet Rules! =D

Funny eh? =D

This was pasted in the toilet of Edelweiss, a restaurant in Penang. I shall blog more about it soon. ^^