Though biotechnology is generally considered as a fairly new type of technology, its concept is actually not something that is brand-new. Truth is, experts claim that many people have already been engaging in such a practice for centuries to improve the quality of livestock that they were caring for, crops that they were growing and the food that they were eating. They were using early forms of biotechnology, such as cross-pollination and selective breeding.
Today, this technology has taken on newer forms that generally have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before going all-in with them. Here are the pros and cons of biotechnology:
List of Pros of Biotechnology
1. It offers further options for growth.
The amount of land that is not currently used in farming is huge, but with this technology, you will be able to utilize more land and even take advantage of unfavorable growing seasons. This means that you will be able to grow crops even under climates that are inhospitable for plant growth, and more food would be produced for consumers all around the world.
2. It enhances the nutritional value of food.
As biotechnology is able to help enhance vitamins and minerals in everyday food, people will have better overall diet without having to make extra lifestyle changes. This means that people will get enough nutrition with just fewer food items on their plates.
3. It reduces the need to use pesticides.
With this technology, plants are designed to become naturally resistant to diseases and pests that can affect an entire plantation, assuring sufficient yields on a yearly basis regardless of the pest condition or the weather a certain region is having.
List of Cons of Biotechnology
1. It risks unexpected cross-pollination to occur.
While natural cross-pollination occurs between plants, hybrids that may not be sustainable will be created when engineered plants come into contact with normal plants. In fact, there are biotechnology firms sued by farmers who suffered from unsustainable cross-pollination.
2. It can be extremely hard on the land.
Biotechnology can create plants that would consume more of the soil’s resources, draining the land’s ability to support plant growth in the future. The more this technology is used, the more nutrients will be drained from the soil. Even if crop rotation is employed, it would take several years for crop lands to recover from this effect of biotechnology.
3. It does not offer any cost-savings.
One of the biggest drawbacks involved with biotechnology is the costs it requires. Basically, it does not offer any savings, as it costs just as much as with growing regular plants, or even higher. This means that farmers would still be spending the same costs and so does the consumer, who would still be paying the same amount for food items that are produced through such technology.
By weighing down the pros and cons of biotechnology, each farmer will be able to decide if such a practice is worth employing. On your end, do you think that this technology is more beneficial to society, or not?
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.