Genetically Modified Organisms
The role of technology in wealth creation is important in modernizing African agricultural practices. Genetic modification is an example of biotechnology that uses either biological organisms or their products to better goods or services to humankind. In order to enhance the desired traits of the organisms in the laboratory, either molecular or genetic engineering techniques are applied. Facts, fears, concerns and myths have surrounded this type of biotechnology. This paper adds to the debate on the pros and cons of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and suggests a possible way forward.
Genetic modification has several advantages. The fast population growth puts the word at a risk of facing food insecurity. The technology has the potential of increasing production of food to meet this demand. It builds an inherent resistance to pests, herbicides, cold, drought, and disease by the crops. This in turn lowers the cost of crop production as the farmers’ use less control measures. The yield improves as the maturation time of the crops reduces. The problem of malnutrition can get a solution by genetically engineering plants to contain adequate amounts of beneficial nutrients. In the Pharmaceutical industry, the technology is capable of reducing the cost of production of medicines and vaccines. This enables their better storage and transport especially in the third world countries. Phytoremediators are GM plants used to clean up the environment from effects of pollution (Whitman, 2009, para.5-13).
GM animals aid in the field of scientific and medical research to understand and come up with treatments for both human and animal diseases. This technology produces human proteins in milk to treat ailments (for example, cystic fibrosis). Trials are underway to alter the immune system of animals to provide suitable organs for transplants in humans. This technology also enhances the productivity of farm animals. The animals show...