Causes and Effects of Genetic Pollution
- Cross-breeding of GM crops with the wild varieties by cross pollination
- Consumption of GM foods
- Improper disposal of unsuccessful GM crops
- The transfer of modified genes by wind-borne pollen might wipe out countless species of organisms.
For instance, the Bt corn produces wind-borne pollen (able to be spread 1km
from farms) that kills the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly. When the life cycles of this butterfly are disrupted, the beautiful Monarch butterflies can only be found in our memory and photographs.
- Gardening job will be tougher as the weeds acquire the modified genes to become super competitive weeds that rampage through the countryside and destroy other life forms in the process. Would you want your beautiful garden to turn into a mess of green weeds that you can never get rid of?
- The risk of the evolution of common plant viruses to become more resistant or form new strains will be greatly increased. Microbiologists have come up with an important point that if genetic modification is carried out extensively, new viruses with greater potential to harm mankind may evolve anytime, and the probability of this occurring can be quite high. A research paper commissioned by the British government supports this point. It concludes that crops genetically altered to be resistant to common plant viruses cold risk creating mutant strains that could wipe out the entire forms.
- The resurgence of the pests from primary pest outbreak to a more destructive secondary outbreak may occur. After a pest has been virtually eliminated by any means, the pest population not only recovers, but also explodes to higher and more severe levels. This phenomenon is known as resurgence. To make matters worse, small populations of pests that used to be of no concern due to their significant numbers may suddenly rocket, creating new problems. This phenomenon is known as secondary pest outbreak. Do you think it is safer and more logical to sacrifice a small portion of your crops in exchange for the insurance that you can enjoy the destruction of all your available crops?
- Abnormalities, mutation, and extinction of species may become widespread and cause a biological havoc that either takes ages to return back to equilibrium or enters a stage of no return. Genes produces proteins in the cells that they are programmed to work in, but when transferred into another system, the proteins may act differently, thus resulting in the outbreak of allergies and the disasters mentioned above. This will be a great blow to Gaia, as the harmony that the Earth's closely-linked ecosystems that have settled down to will vanish, leaving the Earth's inhabitants to reorganise themselves to build up the balanced structures. And this might take a few centuries, or even forever.
- This form of dangerous biotechnology will only benefit largely towards the GM crop farmers in form of monetary gain. According to relevant statistics, farmers would save more than US$3.3 billion annually on herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. So come to think of it. Is it worthwhile to become the guinea pigs just to save a few bucks, while those farmers are sitting down there counting their huge earnings without inflicting any risks on themselves?
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