Genetically modified organism refers to a group of organisms whose genome has been altered by either the use of gene knockout or knock in procedures. These organisms have superior characteristics as compared to the other organisms. The use of genetically modified organisms has been in the rise especially in agriculture. It has been used to reduce the number of pests and herbicides that were used during farming by most farmers. It has also been used to increase the total yield per unit area that was initially obtained by different farmers. The reduction in the amount of carbon (iv) gases has also been attributed to use of genetically modified organisms (Berro,2013). The continued use of GMOs in different countries has elicited different reactions with some quarters calling for the total and complete ban of all products that have been made through genetic methods. Several reasons have been provided as to why genetically modified organism needs to be banned across the whole world (Berro,2013).GMOs have been associated with contamination of the other food types giving rise to plants that which contain allergens that cannot be treated. This has been possible since most of the GMO plants reproduce via pollination. Secondly, the use of GMOs products has been associated with certain multinational companies from specific areas across the world. The multinational companies are keen on creating a monopoly when it comes to the production of specific food types to feed the entire population. These biotechnological companies never have the interest of the consumers at heart. Instead they pay a lot of attention to making profits instead of addressing issues or concerns that have been made through the use of genetically modified organisms. Thirdly, GMOs have been linked to genetic contamination (Berro,2013). These means that their use is associated with increase in growth of super weeds and rise of plants that are resistant to certain herbicides. Fourthly, use of GMOs is said to be very lethal to certain microorganisms that play an important role in pollination and maintenance of the ecosystem. One such organism that is threatened by use of GMOs is the monarch butterflies. All of the above arguments have been placed to support why some countries are advocating for the ban on GMOs. The response has been varied across the board because different countries have different reasons as to why they use genetically modified organisms. The Philippines and United States have not banned the use of GMOs due to both cultural and economic needs while France through political means banned use of GMOS. Therefore, the use of GMOs in different regions across the continent will depend on the needs of different countries.
The Philippines is a country located in the Middle East. It is currently classified as a developing country. Different farmers have expressed interests in the use of genetically modified organisms for various reasons. The major reason is that the country is not food secure and therefore any activity that is linked to increase in food security is good for the country. Recently, one of their courts made a ruling that stated that the use of GMOs in Philippines should be discussed in a round table and all stakeholders should be allowed to contribute on such an issues. The academic community went up in arms because they felt the government was interfering with issues relating to GMOs research. One major stakeholder has a different view on the effects of GMOs in their country (Pangilinan & Bagunu, 2015). Farmers in Philippines have adopted the use of GMOs in their farms because they belief that this is the only way that they can feed their families. At the same time, some of the products grown in small scale can be sold to the markets to earn some income. Research conducted in Magalang revealed that farmers in Philippines were solely dependent on food to support their families and have a stable income (Pangilinan & Bagunu, 2015). The farmers were never concerned about issues that relate quality of the produce harvested from their farms. They were more interested in increasing the yields of their produce which would mean that more food would be available to them. In essence, GMOs were being used to more for cultural reasons. To maintain the life of the people in these region. The farmer’s plea to the government was to completely allow use of GMOs in their country so that there was stable income.
The United States is a developed country and therefore issue pertaining to food security is not quite important. The country is more interested in establishing important gains in economy and the environment. Cotton yield have increased significantly after use of introduction of GMOs in these section. This means that products can be sold across the continent and at the same time can be utilized by their domestic companies. Initially, most farmers across the United States spent a lot of money when it came to use of herbicide and pesticides in their markets. The large number as well as amount of cash used was always a contentious issue. Use of GMOs significantly reduced the amount of pesticides and herbicide used in the market. The reduction in the use of pesticide has saved more than 30% of all labor associated costs (Bennett et al., 2013). Another great issue of concern in countries like the United States has always revolved around environmental protection. Since GMOs have been used, the amount of carbon ( iv) oxide that was initially produced in the environment has reduced to significant low levels as compared in the past. A lot of ethical issues have been raised relating to the use of GMOs in the country but the ban has not been affected due to the numerous gains that the country serves to gain if the product is continually used in its large arable land (Bennett et al., 2013). Most of the concerns that have been raised relate to use of personal and religious belief but this has not stopped the government from using GMOs in fields across the country. Additionally, most of the multinational companies that specialize in GMO production are located in the United States and have continually supported use of GMO through research and development.
France stands out as an example of a country that banned the use of GMOs. The ban was affected when Nikolas Sarkozy was president. The ban is believed to have been politically instigated after the European Union decided that GMO products were making Europe to become a graveyard of new products. More than twenty countries which fall under the EU banner had banned the use of genetically modified products in their countries due to the threats that they claimed posed to the environment (Davison, 2010). In the case of France, the government claimed that use of GMO products had a negative effect on certain arthropods. It is claimed that the government used all possible means within its reach to ensure that the product had been effectively banned from the country (Neslen, 2015). This included use of falsified reports showing the negative effects that GMOs posed to the environment as well as reports indicating how GMO caused contamination and destruction of the other important animal species. Less regard was provided for scientists who argued that the research conducted by the respective government body had been on sided and never represented the true picture of the effects of GMO products in the market (Kuntz,Davison & Ricroch, 2013). Although , a new government came in after the former administration of president Sarkozy less policies have been put in place to address the scientific community concerns especially when it relates to use of genetically modified organisms and other.
Conversely, different countries have outlined different reasons as to why they use genetically modified organism, some like the United States purely use it for economic purposes and for the protection of their environment. Others like the Philippines use it for cultural purposes meaning it provides a living for some of its citizens. Some like the French opted to ban the products by utilizing political methods. Irrespective of the methods used to determine whether GMOs are good or bad, the interests of the countries and those of its citizens will determine if the product will be utilized in the market or whether it will face the ban.
Bennett, A. B., Chi-Ham, C., Barrows, G., Sexton, S., & Zilberman, D. (2013). Agricultural biotechnology: economics, environment, ethics, and the future. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 38, 249-279.
Berro, W. (2013). Twenty-Six Countries Ban GMOs—Why Won’t the US?. The Nation. Retrieved 24 April 2016,
Davison, J. (2010). GM plants: Science, politics and EC regulations. Plant Science, 178(2), 94 98.
Kuntz, M., Davison, J., & Ricroch, A. E. (2013). What the French ban of Bt MON810 maize means for science-based risk assessment. Nature biotechnology, 31(6), 498-500.
Neslen, A. (2015). Half of Europe opts out of new GM crop scheme. the Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2016,
Pangilinan, C., & Bagunu, J. (2015). Perception towards genetically modified crops of the local farmers in Magalang, Pampanga, Philippines: a basis for an intervention program on GM crops. International Journal of Scientific World, 3(2), 187-191.