July 23, 2024

Who Benefits from Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a form of science in which one alters or creates living things such as people, plants and others. There are many pros to this biological manipulation but as well many cons that without proper readjustments and regulations can make it unsafe and unequitable for both people and the environment.

Over the year’s biotechnology has transformed. At the beginning it was mostly used for farming in instances of animal husbandry, fermentation and selective breeding. These practices benefitted farmers making their lives easier and monetarily less costly. But as the field of biotechnology advanced this shifted. The form of biotechnology we now have is full of corporations such as Monsanto. With large corporations now controlling biotechnology they can now control what products are being released and at what price due to patents.

In terms of genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, there are many pros and cons. For example, some pros are that they can modify the seeds to yield more crops, they can increase the resistance to pets and allow for certain crops to be grown in areas they could not before. All of these are extremely beneficial to farmers as in theory they should be able to grow more crops at a lower price than before, yet sadly this is not necessarily the case.

There are many cons to the field of biotechnology. One of these cons is the creation of “superweeds” which are genetically modified organisms that are immune to certain plant killers. Since they are harder to get rid of they grow quickly and devastate land. Another con is the number of unknowns that coincide with these biotechnology firms. For example, the company Monsanto released Roundup, which was one of the top weed killers. After years of people using it, it was found that “one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells” (Scientific American).  These unknowns can cause drastic effects on the health of those using them. Also, in terms of the farmers there are many cons unrelated to health. The corporate companies sell their genetically modified seeds to the farmers for high prices. Since these seeds are genetically modified by these corporations, they can also make it, so they require certain pesticides to control them. These pesticides also cause chemicals to be going into the food that will later be consumed. This makes farming much more expensive for farmers and a lot less safe for those consuming it.

Who has benefitted from biotechnology has changed over the years. At the beginning it was benefitting the farmers but now it only benefits large corporations. For biotechnology to be equitable regulations need to be made.

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/

Leave a Reply