Man has always been on a discovery trend since time immemorial, and the scientific era has led to many technological discoveries. Genetic modification is a discovery established in the 1980s aimed at improving people’s lives and enhancing existing organisms and their products (Carter, Moschini, and Sheldon, 2011). The process yields genetically modified organisms, commonly abbreviated as GMOs. Indeed, genetically modified organisms are among the most essential technological innovations, which have changed people’s lives in various ways.
The success of modifying the genetic setup of organisms is attributable to the modified DNA that stores genetic information. In turn, it has enabled people to enhance plants and animals for increased productivity. Scientists have achieved high performing organisms with increased nutrients and enhanced breeds in the new generations. James Geiger (2009) informs that scientists have produced different plants with high yields, increased nutrients, and resistance to diseases and pests, for example, tomatoes, capsicums and oranges. Fortification of food products with vital nutrients and vitamins for increased nutrition has also been feasible through genetic modification. The process has also enabled the upgrade of domestic animals to hybrids with the help of advanced technology in the world of biotechnology. This has seen an increase in milk and meat production from the animals. In addition, some plants and animals have resistance to hostile conditions, which increases their survival rate (Carter, Moschini and Sheldon, 2011).
Genetic modification has also led to the invention of the test tube babies through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). This discovery has immensely transformed people’s lives in giving birth to young ones. Infertile women are able to sire children sans conception, and this has revolutionized the world of medicine by providing more options of conceiving. The process of in-vitro fertilization has also provided solutions to women with medical complications such as blocked fallopian tubes and other conditions such as fibroids. In addition, the process is indispensable in preventing the passing on of undesirable genes from the parent to the offspring by carefully selecting the desired characteristics. For example, a parent with defective sickle cell genes may opt for in-vitro fertilization in order to save the offspring from the disease (Carlisle, 2005).
Genetic modification has its setbacks, as well. Some people perceive the modified products as unhealthy as they may contain undesirable chemicals and other substances. As such, they feel that they could cause diseases upon consumption, for instance, cancer. However, scientists have proven the nonexistence of harmful compounds in the products by displaying the ingredients in the modified organisms through labels (Dimitrov, 2003). Ethical concerns have also been raised among some groups such as vegetarians, and religious sects are hesitant to consume GMO products. It is a tedious task to convince people about the benefits of genetically modified organisms, but many stores have separated GMOs products from natural products with proper labeling. Thus, consumers can purchase the product of their choice (Carter, Moschini and Sheldon, 2011).
Genetic modification has been an extensively vital discovery that has led to the improvement of people’s lives since its inception. Its benefits greatly outweigh the setbacks since it has positively transformed and improved the way of living. Although some people are still skeptical about changing the natural structure of organisms, a majority has embraced and appreciated the scientific innovation (Geiger, 2009). As genetic scientists continue to research and improve the modification process, people’s lifestyles will continue to change with the introduction of more genetically modified products.
Carlisle, R. (2005). Scientific American inventions and discoveries: All the milestones in ingenuity–from the discovery of fire to the invention of the microwave oven. Hoboken: NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Carter, A. C., Moschini, G. and Sheldon, I. M. (2011). Genetically modified food and global welfare. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.
Dimitrov, S. (2003). Patentability of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Munich: GRIN Verlag.
Geiger, J. (2009). The sweet smell of success. Scottsdale, AZ: James Tad Geiger MD OILMD.