''What if we asked if the most important disease controlling human population sizes, malaria, was in fact an important disease?'' ''We've got a long way to go before we know whether it's good or bad,'' he said. impoves colour, appearance, texture, quality, and flavor. The World Health Organization actually classifies glyphosate as carcinogenic, meaning it can potentially cause cancer, according to CNN. By. Farmers like Mr. Thiel, seeking greater yields and profits, have enthusiastically adopted the new plants, using biotech seeds for 20 to 45 percent of the country's corn, soybean and cotton last year. Still, after two months the Agriculture Department issued a proposed ruling approving the squash. While fears that such crops are unsafe to eat have raised public alarm in Europe, and to a lesser extent in the United States, some biologists say the more immediate concern is this: that genetically modified plants could interact with the environment in hazardous ways, and that regulators are not demanding the proper studies to assess the risks. Government agencies regulating new products often demand specific experiments and data to establish safety. He added that he believed longer field tests were impractical. In his report in July 1993, Dr. Wilson found there was insufficient scientific information to draw conclusions about safety and that studies ''point toward the clear presence of risk.''. The agency announced Sept. 29 that the National Academy of Sciences would be conducting a review of the agency's regulatory process. In addition, field tests typically run for one or two years, too short a time, ecologists say, to assess a plant's potential weediness. According to an NCBI study, more than 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate have been applied in the U.S. between 1974 and 2016. In order to determine how important viruses were in nature, the department in 1993 asked Asgrow to conduct a survey of wild plants. Luckily, these crops only contain trace amounts of the chemical. And GMO crops are not only found in the produce section — foods like grains, bread, packaged snacks, and animal products could include GMO crops, or crops that have been sprayed with glyphosate. The pros and cons of genetically engineered babies show us a world where it is theoretically possible to limit the influence of disease. Dr. Peter Kareiva, senior ecologist for cumulative risk assessment at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, called the study ''amazingly small'' and noted that if disease was truly a devastating problem, scientists might never find a plant with disease because the virus would have quickly wiped out any plants it encountered. Therefore, the squash could be deregulated. Researchers did visual scans of an unknown number of plants in nine areas scattered over three states and saw no signs of disease. In doing so, he joined hundreds of other American farmers embarking on what some scientists say is an uncontrolled ecological experiment carrying unknown risks: the planting of millions of acres of genetically engineered crops on American land. Squash has a 0 calorie serving unlike a 17 calorie serving with normal squash. 33 Pros & Cons Of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Share it! ''The way I see it, whenever you get something, you lose something else. In its petition, Asgrow, then part of the Upjohn Company, stated that the plant presented no risk to the environment. Since then Dr. Quemada, in a surprising turn, has succeeded in persuading the Agriculture Department to support further analysis of the possible risks of the squash. Dr. Wilson's report also noted that the wild relatives of the new squash were already problematic weeds in parts of the country, suggesting it might take little to push them into the category of superweed, another fact omitted by Asgrow. ''When you see a virus in your fields, it makes you sick,'' said Mr. Thiel, showing a visitor a patch of ruined squash in his fields in Idalou, Tex., outside Lubbock. But before Asgrow could begin selling its new squash, it had to get the plant out from under Government supervision. The most contentious of the Agriculture Department's conclusions in the draft documents was the dismissal of the superweed risk. Dr. Arnold Foudin, assistant director of scientific services at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, defended the regulatory process. For reasons not fully understood, coat protein genes provide powerful resistance to the viruses from which they come. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. As mentioned above, genetically modifying a plant can make the crop resistant to things like pesticides and insects, as well as resist frost, diseases, animals. Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods. ''We feel like we're making the best decisions that can be made on the basis of the information that we have,'' said Keith Pitts, an adviser to the agriculture secretary. Supporters of genetically engineered plants say critics ask the impossible: technology without risks and a promise of unconditional safety. The requirements are not vague, he said, but rather are ''necessarily generic -- it gives us the flexibility, and the applicant, to supply the necessary information.'' We just don't know what we'll lose yet. The critical question was whether viruses kept the population of wild squash, which produces inedible gourds, in check. Even though all of the above-mentioned cons are direct results of glyphosate, and not of the GMO crops themselves, it’s clear that pesticides like glyphosate and GMO crops work hand in hand. Snow, a plant ecologist at Ohio State University. Notably, Michigan State University researchers found that glyphosate has caused a decline in the population of monarch butterflies, according to Make Way for Monarchs. Not to mention, glyphosate reportedly remains in soil for up to 6 months after it’s been sprayed (that time frame varies depending on the type of soil and other conditions), according to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). A few years later, in 1985, the USDA approved additional field tests of GE organisms, and then in 1996, the USDA approved of commercially-produced GE crops. A growing number of studies suggest that the genetically engineered crops could lead to rapid evolution of pesticide-resistant insects, creation of new plant diseases and harm to insects that benefit mankind. And, as with any genetically engineered crop, the squash posed the risk that its new genes might cause it to spread and become difficult to control. As mentioned above, genetically modifying a plant can make the crop resistant to things like pesticides and insects, as well as resist frost, diseases, animals. The outlet explains that in the study, researchers found that glyphosate kills off significant amounts of milkweed (a plant that butterflies in the studied regions rely on), which was likely a culprit in the monarch butterflies’ decline. As explained by the USDA, since 1996, most U.S. GMO crops in the U.S. have been genetically modified to have either herbicide tolerance and/or insect resistance, meaning they can be sprayed with pesticides or attacked by insects, and still thrive and grow. These foods mainly consist of the plants and animals whose genes have been changed and these foods were initially developed to augment the capacity of growing some crops with more yields so that it can be utilized in … If deregulated, the squash could be freely sold or planted anywhere in the United States. Always make sure to do your research, and continue eating a diet filled with fresh produce and grains. A GMO is an organism (typically a plant, but also an animal or microorganism) whose genes have been genetically engineered in a lab, ultimately yielding an organism with “desirable” traits that do not occur in nature, according to the Non-GMO Project. Pros of GMOs. The central risk of eating GMO crops is the trace pesticides that some plants still include. Pros and Cons Of Genetically Modified Food. Nishitha Prakash. Source: istock.