GMOs Harm the Environment

Definition: Genetically modified organisms have more adverse effects on the environment than positive effects.

People have been questioning the environmental impact of GMOs ever since they were first being commercially sold. In 2000, just a year after GM crops began to overtake farms, DB Whitman wrote an article that described some of the environmental concerns that people had regarding GMOS. One of these concerns included that GM corn was causing high mortality rates in monarch butterflies.

This idea has made a great impact socially, with many anti-GMO people using this as another reason to protest GM crop production. These people are mainly concerned with the increased pesticide usage. The government has several organizations doing everything possible to calm the public by keeping GM regulations very strict.

The audience most affected by this term are farmers and the companies that sell GMOs because their livelihoods depend on selling GMOs, and they have to undergo all the processes of producing GM crops while abiding by the constantly changing rules and regulations that the government enforces. They also have to deal with the protestors who give them flak for farming non-organic crops.

This term persists because there has not been very much publicity of the all the positives of farming GM crops, and because there has been an increase in glyphosate in the past 20 years.

GMOs help us through the most stressful environmental challenges. They can help preserve biodiversity because increased productivity in already cultivated lands spares less productive lands from being heavily cultivated.  There has been improved tillage practices, reduced insecticide use, and environmentally safer insecticides that contribute to sparing these lands.  According to PG Economics from 1996-2005 GMO crops have led to higher yields and thus could contribute to preventing poverty and food shortages in troubled areas of the world. GMOs help reduce soil erosion by killing weeds and leaving them in the fields to protect the soil and encouraging farmers to practice conservation tillage. They also help with soil moisture retention which leads to less irrigation and have better drought tolerance because of their GM traits. This conserves water usage. GMOs have lead to an 8.1 decrease in pesticide use because of the added trait for insect resilience.


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