GMO Final Draft

GMO Final Draft - GMOs The Panacea or Pandora's Box? By...

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1 GMOs – The Panacea or Pandora’s Box? By Nick Stoynoff, Jackson Johns, William Roper and Sally Murphy Presently, one question is plaguing environmentalists everywhere. This question concerns how we choose to react to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This issue is a complicated one as GMOs will produce far reaching implications not only on the environment, but also on the economy (and economies) and on the scientific community. Given how complicated the issue becomes once you look at how it positively and negatively affects so many different areas, the best standpoint would be one of moderation. We would be shooting ourselves in the foot if we did not explore genetic engineering, but as we cannot be totally sure what will happen in the future, we have to follow containment protocols and tread lightly. Like many things, the answer rests firmly in compromise. One very important thing to consider is how will GMOs affect our economy domestically and how will it affect other economies around the world? There are obviously two sides to this issue: the positive and negative economic effects of GMOs. It would be appropriate to first analyze the economic benefits of GMOs. From the corporate standpoint, being able to control the market for a new product and having the ability to mass-produce that product would enhance revenue, create higher quality products, and decrease average production costs. These are among the many economic incentives that agricultural biotechnology companies should take into consideration. What is significantly beneficial is the reduced average cost of production in addition to simplifying pest management for producers. As scientists and biotechnology companies continue to improve and develop new genetic traits, GM crops will become more marketable to the average consumer. “These
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changes in GM crops will result in food that tastes better, has better nutritional content, better shelf life, and will contain fewer detrimental compounds such as allergens.” 1 These characteristics would easily, by virtue economic theory, boost our national GDP significantly. If producers have lower production costs then they will have the ability to produce more at a low market price. When the market is in equilibrium, the producers and consumers will have arbitrarily agreed on a price to purchase a certain good at. In this case the market equilibrium price would benefit for our economy. While GMOs have the ability to satisfy the needs of citizens domestically, they will also have the ability to satisfy the hunger needs of many impoverished third-world countries. Of course, as with any new technology, there are concerns about the economic risks of GMOs. Some of the main worries are “that there would be a concentration of economic power into a few large multinational companies, there would be erosion of rural communities, and that there would be a loss of biodiversity of agriculture systems.” 2 There is also fear over “the monopolization of agriculture by certain companies. These
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course POLS 100 taught by Professor Toral during the Fall '05 term at Beloit.

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GMO Final Draft - GMOs The Panacea or Pandora's Box? By...

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