Thereare several environmental controversies in the modern world. The useof genetically modified organism in food production and agriculturalactivities has attracted a lot of controversies. The disputes thathave resulted into these controversies involve biotechnologycompanies, researchers, scientists and scholars, farmers, governmentagencies and regulators, nongovernmental organizations and advocategroups. The main causes of these controversies are related to thesafety of genetically modified organism in food production, whethergenetically modified food products in the market should be labeled,the role of the regulating authorities and government agencies. Thecontroversies have also focused on the objectivity of biotechnologyresearch leading to the adoption of this technology, the impact ofgenetic engineering on the environment, the long term impact ofconsuming genetically modified, their role in food security andimpact on farmers and food production. Although there is a continuumin the genetically modified organism debate, some concerned groupsand individuals have adopted extreme position, either opposing oradvocating for genetically modified organism in food production(Norwood, 2015). Advocates for application of genetic modificationtechnology in food crops have based their arguments on the fact thatno significant risks have been associated with these foods comparedto convectional foods. There are no documented ill effects orscientific research that has identified risk associated with thecurrently available GMO foods. Proponents have also argued that theapplication of genetically modified organisms in food production isthe only viable option for promoting food security in the world. Onthe other hand, opponents have argued that there are no adequate longterm studies that can guarantee the application of geneticmodification technology in food production. However, some groups andindividuals have taken a middle ground advocating for more strictregulations, labeling of genetically modified products and auditingof objectivity of biotechnology research (Norwood, 2015).
Norwood,F. B. et al (2015). Agriculturaland food controversies: what everyone needs toknow.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.