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Pesticides and Genetically Modified Foods, Essay Example

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Essay

Pesticides

There is no doubt that the use of agricultural pesticides has created a degree of controversy over their safety and potential danger of contaminating the food we eat.  It is particularly dangerous  where the chemicals run off agricultural lands and into rivers contaminating fish and other sources of food.  Chemicals such as DDT have been extensively used in the third world to control a variety of insect contaminations including getting rid of mosquitoes; the substance is now banned in most countries owing to the danger the chemical presents to humans.  The fact is that toxins continue to appear in different agricultural pesticides and the farmers have no real degree of certainty in understanding the potential dangers and threats these represent. (Hayes).

Genetically Modified Food

Numerous products have been genetically modified for the market place today.  One such product is that of ‘Golden Rice’ that contains a large amount of Vitamin A or beta carotene that is converted into Vitamin A. It is Beta Carotene that gives Carrots their bright orange colour and similarly the golden look in rice. Syngenta / Zeneca are one Company that has been producing and licensing the production of Golden rice. In 2005 they were reported to have been granted 16 licenses primarily in the Asia Pacific regions. Opponents to production say that this type of genetically modified crop is still not safe for human consumption.  One key concern has been the absence of sufficiently in depth research and animal testing on Golden Rice.  Early tests indicated that the rice was over-engineered to such an extent that it produced an excess of beta carotene and studies indicated that some retinoids had vulnerability from  this, as having a toxic affect, and in danger of causing birth defects.  (banGMfoods.org)

References

banGMfoods.org. Take action to ban GM foods. 2010. 29 9 2011 <http://www.bangmfood.org/>.

Hayes, Waylsand J. “Pesticides in Relation to Public Health.” Annual Journal of Epistomology (1960): 379-404.

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