Fernandez, Joanna Lynne M.

May 14, 2015

Bio 164 Response Paper
Topic: GMOs

Genetically modified organisms, more commonly known as GMOs, are organisms
whose genome has been altered through techniques in genetic engineering. In present
situations, lots and lots of GMOs have been made available for human consumption. With this
increasing dependence of humans to such products, it is only necessary to weigh some pros
and cons of this new scientific milestone. Some of the promises of the science of GMOs include
increased crop resistance and yield, increased nutritional value of crops, reduced allergens and
toxins, lengthened shelf life, and of course, improved food quality. Going along side mentioned
promises are some problems which include disturbance in local species diversity, indirect effects
especially on the environment, high maintenance crops resulting to higher market prices, and
lastly, deterioration of habitat.
The act of presentation was really fun especially with the witty and relatable comments
of some of the reporters. They also had loud voices therefore not making it hard to listen. It was
also nice that they tried to make the audience part of their presentation by asking some
questions which are still related to the topic. The thing is, for me, the report was sort of lacking
some of the more important issues regarding GMOs. The whole report just focused on the pros
and cons of GMOs without further elaboration of the topic such as the techicalities/processes of
genetic engineering, actual data on the proposed benefits and disadvantages, as well as the
possible future of the science of genetic engineering plus its effects on us humans. Also, the
supposed main issue of GMOs being part of the conservation arsenal was not dwelt deeper.
Personally, I think the issue on GMOs and its associated pros and cons is a bit
overrated. The term ‘genetically modified’ could cover many things therefore leading to some
misunderstandings. Technically speaking, we humans have long been part of this ‘genetic
modification’ acting as agents of artificial selection. Though when applied to present
advancements of the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, GMOs could equate to
organisms who have undergone some elaborate laboratory modifications. Still, I believe that
amidst these modifications and all the Frankenstein’s monster fuss, GMOs are important tools
that we use in our everyday lives providing us with very useful benefits. Again when we think
about it, the benefits that we get from GMOs are tantamount rather than the possible risks
GMOs expose. The risks mentioned above could easily be controlled given the right facilities. To
be clear, I am totally in support of GMOs but the thing is, I don’t think GMOs are good tools for
conservation. At the worst cases, GMOs could even lead/drive species to their extinction. If we
want to make GMOs as part of the conservation arsenal, I think further improvements in the field
of genetic engineering are needed.