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Are GMOs good or bad?
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GMOs are good for the environment

GMOs result in less pesticide use, reduce the amount of land and water needed to grow, and improve soil quality. They also decrease carbon dioxide emissions. This is all good for the environment.

The Argument

GMOs are good for the environment because they result in less pesticide, land, and water use. Modifying crops to be pest-resistant means that there is less need to use pesticides. These pesticides are harmful to the environment and to animals such as honeybees and monarch butterflies.[1] Crops can also be modified to be drought resistant which would help to waste less water. GMOs also produce increased yields which means they require less land.[2] Using less land and water for agriculture is good for the environment. GMOs also help improve soil quality because farmers no longer need to till (which removes nutrients from the soil and causes erosion) to address weeds since the crops are herbicide-resistant. As a result of less pesticide spraying and tilling, farmers don’t use their tractors as much which means less carbon dioxide emissions.[2] All of this is good for the environment.

Counter arguments

GMOs result in more herbicide use. A report from 2001-2010 found that herbicide use increased by 26% as weed resistance increased because of GMOs.[3] These herbicides are made of glyphosate which is a toxic chemical; this chemical gets into the water, harms soil quality, and increases the susceptibility of crops to diseases.[4] This is all extremely bad for the environment. Additionally, farmers are actually having to do more tillage (which erodes the soil) because the increase of herbicide-resistant crops is creating a rapid increase in superweeds that are resistant to herbicide.[5]



[P1] GMOs can be pest-resistant which lowers the need to use pesticides. [P2] GMOs can be modified to need less water which lowers water waste. [P3] Lower pesticide use and water waste are good for the environment.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 01:45 UTC

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