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Genetically Modified Food

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University of the Western Cape
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
Department of Academic Development
Academic Literacy for Commerce (ALC 131)

Name and Surname : Zanele Skosana
Student number : 3525385
Degree registered for : B.Admin
Name of Assignment : Academic essay
Topic/Instruction: : Critically reflect on the article provided, and write an academic essay in which you discuss the effects of genetically modified food on South Africans and the economy
Name of lecturer : Ms Lutasha Ndesi
Name of tutor : Gaynor Godlo
Due Date : 6 May 2015

| Marking Criteria | Mark Allocation | Mark Achieved | 1 | Presentation | 2 | | 2 | Introduction and Conclusion | 5 | | 3 | Structure ( Paragraph development: Topic, Supporting and Concluding sentences) | 8 | | 4 | Language | 20 | | 5 | Content | 50 | | 6 | Quotations | 10 | | 7 | Reference List | 5 | | | Total Mark | 100 | |
Declaration
1. I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another’s work and pretend it is one’s own work. 2. Each contribution to, and quotation in this work that I have taken from the work of other people has been attributed and has been cited and referenced. 3. This submission is my own work. 4. I have not allowed, and will not allow anyone to copy my work with the intention of passing it off as their own work.
Signed: …………………………………………… Date: 6 May 2015
1. Introduction
Genetically modified food is a widespread problem all over the world. Many years genetically modified foods have been used to help overcome poverty. Although genetically modified foods are inexpensive, genetically modified foods are hazardous to the world. This essay will critically discuss the negative effects genetically modified foods has on South Africans and the economy. The argument will be supported by firstly, a discussion about the enhancement of genetically modified food. Secondly, it will discuss the health implications caused by modified foods. Thirdly, it will discuss the people who are most affected by genetically modified food. Fourthly, it will discuss the farming communities that are affected by genetically modified food. Fifthly, it will discuss the economic production affected by genetically modified food. Sixthly it will discuss the allocations of South Africans resources towards genetically modified food. Thereafter, it will discuss the labelling of genetically modified food. Lastly, it will discuss the environmental implications of making use of genetically modified foods.
2. Genetically modified food chemically enhanced
Genetically modified food is food that is injected with chemicals to enhance the appearance of the food. Genetically modified food is generally modified in labs and these foods are monitored by scientist. These chemicals are created by scientist in order for them to inject food to enable them to grow faster and to grow bigger than organic food. There are examples of genetically modified food, for example: vegetables, meat, fruits. According to Forman (2010, p. 7), scientist isolates and manipulates genes and they have the power to create organisms, and organisms are plants that have been modified through the science of genetic engineering. Scientist uses their technology to fabricate and influence genes to create entities that have been modified. Genetically modified food is often labelled thus ensuring that the public are fully aware that the food they eat is modified. Genetically modified can be the public’s average food that they eat and is more appealing than organic food. Thus genetically modified food is enhanced to appear good.

3. Health implications caused by modified food
Genetically modified food may cause health implications. Scientist use chemicals that the public like an average Joe knows nothing about, a person that knows nothing about the chemicals that is used to enhance food. These chemicals that are used to enhance and modify food can cause serious health implications to a person, furthermore since chemicals are used as opposed to natural resources these chemicals affect the body and causes illnesses. A person may not be aware that the chemicals that are used in modified food are the cause to becoming frequently ill. Kuiper, Harry, Gijs, Kleter, Hub, Notebom. Esther (2001, p.7) stated that genetically modified food has health implications for example the incident of DNA damage that leads to the development of cancer tumours. Consuming genetically modified food may lead to a person developing cancer tumours that can affect any part of your body. Thus any genetically food that a person might eat may lead to serious health implication.
4. Most affected people by modified food
Genetically modified food affects underprivileged people, children and pregnant women. Poor people cannot afford to buy organic food. Even Though Underprivileged people may know that genetically modified food have negatives impacts on their lives they do not have any other choice than to buy the food, because organic foods are often found in upmarket stores that only cater for the rich. The unfortunate do not have the land to grow their own organic foods so they have to depend on the genetically modified food that makes them sick. In addition, children are affected by the chemicals that are injected into modified food, as children are developing mentally and physically they are subjected to all kinds of chemicals that prohibit them from developing to their fullest potential. Pregnant women are the most affected because the baby is exposed to chemicals whilst it was still an embryo thus ensuring birth defects. Recent research studies conducted by Danica Collins have shown that genetically modified food carries health risk such as cancer, infertility, lung damage and birth defects. Everyone who cannot afford to buy or grow their own organic food is negatively affected by genetically modified food

5. Modified food affects farming community
Genetically modified food affects the farming community and may cause the farms to shut down. Chemicals are sprayed over modified crops that ensure that they grow correctly however the chemicals sprayed affects the soil and disturbs the balance of nature. Animals and insect are also affected by the pesticides sprayed. Genetically modified food increases productivity however the modified seeds are expensive and the genetically modified foods are in competition with smaller farms that produce organic food. Organic food farms find it difficult to compete with genetically modified food farms, because the genetically modified crops grow at a faster rate as a result businesses buy their food from genetically modified farms. The demand that they have from the public they have to supply large amounts of food in a short amount of time. This has a ripple effect; because small organic farms cannot compete with big genetically modified farms as they lose out on business and will then have to lay off some of their workers. This will then cause unemployment and later on will lead to crime in the small communities. Genetically modified food affects smaller organic farms and may cause the farms to shut down.
6. Economic production caused by modified food.
Genetically modified food affects the South African economic market and may cause financial difficulties. Genetically modified seeds are very expensive and not every farmer can afford to buy the seeds. South Africa is a third world country, Lemanski states that South Africa is a third world country because, “Third world countries are traditionally perceived as places with a strong informal sector, weak economic growth, rapid population growth and crumbling infrastructure.” South African farms do not have the rights to the seeds that have been genetically modified by scientist; so they might not be able to afford the seeds, thus widening the gap between the rich and the poor. Farmers would need to buy fresh seeds every year in order for them to produce genetically modified foods it would be financially disastrous for farmers who cannot afford to buy the seeds each and every year. To support the fact why genetically modified food is bad for the economy, according to Akumo, Riedel & Semtanska (2013, p. 5),
“The major economic fears are the risk of patent enforcement which may oblige farmers to depend on giant engineering companies such as Monsanto for strains when their crops are cross pollinated. Consumer advocates are equally worried that patenting these new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds so high that small farmers and third world countries will not be able to afford seeds for GM crops.”
The citizens are afraid that rules will be made upon the rights of the GM seeds and that the large companies who have the rights to the seeds will increase the price and small farms will not be able to afford the seeds. Genetically modified food has a negative impact on the South African economy and may cause financial disaster.
7. Allocation of South African resources
South African spends millions in buying genetically modified seeds and they spend the same amount of money to buy genetically modified foods. The money could have been used to fund and help small farms to produce organic foods. According to Murnaghan (2012, p.1), “GM seeds vary a great deal in price but they are typically 30 to 40 percent more expensive than seeds for conventional crops. The initial cost can still be a challenge for smaller farms who do want to grow GM products. Some farmers cite corporate greed as a reason for what they consider to be excessive costs of GM seeds versus conventional ones” Changes in supply can affect other sectors in the economy. The real costs of genetically modified food are expensive to tax-payers, farmers and companies involved in producing genetically modified food. Conventional organic farmers and seed developers are constantly threatened by contamination from genetically modified food.
8. Labelling of genetically modified food
Genetically modified food should be labelled. Genetically modified food should not leave out important information concerning pertaining to products. South Africans should have the right to know what sort of chemicals there is in the genetically modified food they eat. According to Byrne, Pendell, Graff (2014, p. 3), “Since 1992, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required labelling of GM foods only if the food has a nutritional or food safety property that is significantly different from what consumers would expect of that food.” A person might be allergic to the sort of protein added to the modified the food. For example the food has a nutritional or food safety property that is significantly different from what consumers would expect of that food, if genetically modified food includes a protein that may be an allergen not expected to be present (such as a peanut protein expressed in a soybean), then it would have to be labelled. Legislation requires that food containing genetically modified products be labelled.
9. Environmental implications of using modified food
Genetically modified food will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that South African farmers have developed for years. Genetically modified foods are not safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to South Africans. According to FAO/WHO (2001) genetically modified plants threaten plant diversity and ecological system. If genetically modified crops are designed to withstand large amounts of pesticides, nearby crops or wild plants may be damaged by over spraying. Genetically modified foods are pest and weed killer resistant which leads to large crops production; however the method may kill vital beneficial bugs. At first consideration it may seem like more food for the South Africans should outdo the lives of a few annoying bugs, but that is short sighted thinking since the riddance of fertilising insects could eventually lead to a collapse in the food supply. To support the information of the importance of bugs, according to Grant (2013, p. 9), “Insect fertilisation supports one-third of food crops (with honeybees responsible for 80 percent of that number”. Insect fertilisation is a process whereby pollen is transferred from one flower to another by insects. Crops are dependent on fertilisation the process. Thus, instead of solving food shortage problems, genetically modified foods may essentially make things much, much worse. Simple things like annoying bugs and bees without them can lead to disastrous consequences and cause environmental implications.
10. Conclusion
This essay critically discussed the negatives effects genetically modifies foods had on South Africans and the economy. The argument was firstly supported by a discussion about the enhancement of genetically modified food. Secondly it discussed the health implications caused by modified foods. Thirdly, it discussed the people who are most affected by genetically modified food. Fourthly, it discussed the farming communities that are affected by genetically modified food. Fifthly, it discussed the allocations of South Africans resources towards genetically modified food. Thereafter, it discussed the labelling of genetically modified food. Lastly, it discussed the environmental implications of making use of genetically modified foods. Thus, the argument discussed critically shows that genetically modified food has a negative effect on South Africans and the economy, however genetically modified food can be used to sustain and overcome poverty.

11. Reference lists
Akumo, D.N., Riedel, H., & Semtanska, I. (2013). Social and Economic Issues Genetically Modified Food. New York, Intech.
Byrne, P., Pendell, D., & Graff (2014). Labelling of genetically modified food. Colorado State University Extension.
David, H. Freedman (2013) The Truth about Genetically Modified food. Scientific American Volume 309, 1-6.
FAO/WHO (2001). Safety assessment of foods derived from genetically modified microorganisms. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on foods Derived from Biotechnology. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organisation. WHO, Geneva, Switzerland
GRANT, S. (2013). Problems Genetically Modified Foods Are Already Causing. Retrieved 2015, April 22, from http://listverse.com/2013/06/22/10-problems genetically modified-foods-are-already-causing.
Harry, A. Kuiper, Gijs A. Kleter, Hub P. J. M. Notebom and Esther J. K (2001). Assessment of the food safety issues related to genetically modified foods. The plant Journal, 27(6), 503-528. Retrieved 2015, April 23, from National Institute for Quality Control of Agriculture Products, and Research Centre.
Lemanski, C. (2007). Global cities in the south: deepening social and spatial polarisation in Cape Town. Cities, 24(6), 448-461.
Lillian, E. Forman (2010). Genetically Modified Foods. ABDO, Edina, Minnesota.
Murnaghan, J. (2012). Farmers and GM Food Issues. Retrieved 2015, May 6, from http://www.geneticallymodifiedfoods.co.uk/farmers-gm-food-issues.html…...

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