Genetically modified food: Good or Bad?

Many are hoping that genetically modified food is a solution to many problems regarding food supply and environment. But why is it such a contested field of study and what's stopping us from seeing it sold in our supermarkets?

Scientists in favor of research on genetically modified crops

The debate on whether genetically modified crops are the future or something unnatural that must be prohibited is going strong, and some of the most famous botanists and ecologists in Europe have now chimed in with their opinion on the matter. According to these scientists, global problems like environmental change and food supply, can only be solved by investing more in plant research, including genetically modified crops. The attitude of the different European governments on genetically modified crops are generally very conservative, especially when it comes to commercial cultivation of these plants.

A concept contested since it's inception

Ever since the concept of genetically modified crops were introduced by American scientists back in 1982 it has been a highly contested field of research, both from a moral and a scientific standpoint. The majority of the scientific community nowadays seem to think that there's no evidence that genetically modified crops are a threat against people or nature; maybe with more potential benefits than drawbacks.

Pros and cons of genetically modified crops:

Here are some of the more common reasons proponents and opponents of genetically modified crops use for their cause. Whether these claims are true or untrue is often still contested.
  • Resistant against both pests and disease
  • More tolerant against herbicides and cold
  • Can be customized to include extra nutrients
  • More resistant to drought and non-ideal soil
  • Harmful to other organisms and eco-systems
  • Potentially reduce pest resistance to pesticide
  • May create "superweeds" via gene transfer
  • Could potentially create new allergies and have unknown effects on people's health

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