Hi, I'm Aidan Haarman and I will be arguing against the use of GMOs in food. First, GMOS are living organisms that have had their genetic code modified in a way to produce a specific trait that the designer wants to see.
The most frequently made change is to create an immunity from pesticides or to make the plant produce its own insecticide. The most common argument against GMOs is simply labeling, much of the general public wants genetically modified foods to be labeled in the stores.
Unfortunately, the GMO industry has complete control of the technology and therefore has more than enough power to thwart that idea. Labeling would cause trouble for the biotech industry, because more than 80% of conventional food products contain genetically modified ingredients. At the same time, 91% of North Americans want prodcuts to be labeled, according to a Mellman Group poll in 2012. The labeling controversy creates a fairly intense debate.
The new technolgies have also had some unfortunate effects on the environment, by creating new species of "super-weeds" and pesticide resistant insects. This in turn rorces the farmers to use more dangerous chemicals to prevent infestations. Overall, I think the technology can be used for good things, but the biotech industry needs to be regulated by the people, like in a democracy, instead of by large corporations.
Hi, I'm Emily. One of the arguments for GMOs is that they can provide insect-resistant and herbicide tolerant traits. These plants give farmers the ability to grow without using chemicals. This is healther for the consumers and the farmers. It also means that farmers don't have to till for weeds. Tilling causes soil erosion.
These aspects mean that the farmers can increase their productivity by double cropping. This means doubling the crops that would normally be produced. The lack of chemical use, also means that these crops have lower pollution emissions.
As my opponent pointed out, the general public would like more labeling so that they can avoid GMOs and its perceived health risks. Thus far, there is no evidence that GMO foods are dangerous. One of the main concerns is that an anti-biotic resistant gene may occur due to genetic modification. Yet, there is an extremely low risk of this ever occuring.
I agree with my opponent that regulations should be in place, but I also think that more educational information should be produced by the government in order to better inform the public on both the good and bad of GMOs.