Worldwide, people understand that the life of any organism has an inherent value. Various religious movements state that men cannot manage the life granted by God. However, scientists have learned how to manage life, creating new organisms in laboratories. Thus, the concept of GMO has shocked the world community, having caused endless debates concerning the ethical side of this problem. In this regard, the role and place of GMOs in human life should be examined more closely to find solutions to this problem.
Each life has its inherent value in itself, rather different from the intrinsic value, which means the set of experiences the organism has. The inherent value means that living organisms have value in their rights. Numerous activists and researchers in this field claim that all living organisms have this value equally, and there should be no reasons to vary the degrees of inherent value. In other words, the level of wealth or belonging to any race or sex should not become the indicator of difference and injustice. When talking about inherent value, it does not matter whether one is stronger, admired, or respected. The forsaken, weak, unloved and lonely have the same inherent value as those who are more favored by others. In this regard, it should be mentioned that inherent value is a direct way to the establishment of justice among living organisms if they have inherent value.
Nowadays, in the world, more than one thousand breeds of genetically modified plants are created and brought to tests. About 200 species of them are allowed to be used in the agricultural industry. Soy, cotton, colza, and corn are the most popular among transgenic cultures. However, today, the problem of the use of GMO is very serious. According to the law, producers are obliged to inform consumers about the existence of GMO in products in case their share exceeds 0, 9 percent. Nevertheless, some companies neglect this law. Besides, cheap transgenic products make a basis of the diet of the poorest segments of the population. Wealthy people prefer expensive, but environmentally friendly products without GMOs. Thus, the problem of GMO wittingly or unwittingly turns into social. Controversies about the impact of GMO on human health have remained in the past in the developed countries; today, this problem is raised only in the mass media. Current discussions between supporters and opponents of GMO-technologies in agriculture refer mainly to the ecology and economy.
Since GMOs are artificially created organisms, there is a significant difference between life, which occurs naturally, and life created by men. Scientists create GMOs in order to overcome natural laws striving to increase the output yield, fight with starvation, etc. For this purpose, scientists change the genetic material of the organisms by means of modern genetic engineering techniques. Unlike GMOs, the naturally occurring organisms receive their stability to surrounding threatening conditions in the course of evolution. In most cases, GMOs appear to be more stable to certain exogenous factors such as pests, herbicides, etc. However, unlike their natural counterparts, which are generally safe to people and environment, GMOs are usually characterized by environmental, safety, and nutritional effects ("GMO & non-GMO FAQs," n.d.).
As it was mentioned above, GMOs are harmful to some extent for people, animals, and the environment. Thus, the widespread use of GMOs may have long-term effects on both humanity and the environment. Experts claim that in the USA catastrophic consequences from the use of GMO have recently begun. For example, the use of GMOs led to the emergence of new superweeds, which are resistant to many methods of removal and demand a huge amount of herbicides for their destruction. In the USA, the use of genetically modified products also led to a considerable increase in allergic diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and cancer.
Considering the population of the planet, scientists state that only GMOs can save the world from the threat of starvation since it is possible to increase the productivity and quality of food by means of gene modification. Genetic engineering creates breeds, which are further contained in products that have a high nutritional value and contain increased amounts of irreplaceable amino acids and vitamins. The task of GMO is to provide the modified products with certain qualities, for example, changes in the taste, color, smell, consistency, or prolongation of shelf life.
Genetically modified food is the food received from the genetically modified organisms (GMO) including plants, animals, or microorganisms. Today, the stores have a lot of modified foods, which are sold at affordable prices. Transgenic soy (or protein of transgenic soy) is present at many foodstuffs. It occurs because transgenic soy is much cheaper than meat, which is substituted by soy. Besides soy or soy protein, the following transgenic cultures are officially allowed for economic use: chicory, cotton, corn, melon, etc. Thus, the modified products are much cheaper than natural; it provides poorer segments of the population with the chance to buy tasty food, which, considering certain qualities, does not differ from the natural. However, scientists are concerned that GM products have a harmful impact on the human organism, causing cancer, allergy, infertility, etc.
To summarize, it should be noted that GM products take a crucial place in the life of modern society despite endless ethical controversies and debates. Being created for useful purposes to improve the quality of life, GMOs have harmful long-term effects on the environment and human health. In this regard, governments of all countries should adopt rules aimed at managing arisen issues. First of all, controlling agencies should continuously monitor the quality of GM products because they must be safe. If a product does not match these requirements, it should not be licensed for cultivation or distribution. Even if GM product is allowed to be cultivated and distributed, consumers, farmers, and businesses should have the right to decide whether to use it or not. Labeling is the most important method to ensure the right of choice. However, in order for those strategies to be effective, their application should be conserved and constantly maintained by governments. Moreover, new methods should be additionally adopted because new issues are likely to appear with the development of genetic engineering.