Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) result from alterations of the genes of plants and animals in order to improve certain characteristics of the original species. Various food processing and agricultural companies have utilized GMO technology to make massive profits.
Agricultural and Seed Companies
Large multinational biotech companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta have developed genetically modified seeds that are resistant to pests and diseases and that produce more yield than unmodified seeds. These companies derive a lot of benefit from selling these seeds to farmers worldwide. As farmers plant these seeds and experience increased yields, they develop a positive attitude toward the technology, which results in increased sales of seeds by these companies. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also involved in the production of GMO seeds. It is among the largest owners of patented GMO plant seeds and related agrochemicals and has built a seed vault/bank, where stored seeds are wrapped to exclude moisture. The aim of this seed bank is to preserve crop biodiversity for the future.
Pharmaceutical companies use GMO technology to develop medicines to treat various diseases. According to the 2001 Human Development Report, biotechnology provides the potential to prevent and mitigate various health challenges such as HIV&AIDS, experienced especially in poor countries. Medical biotechnology involves the production of genetically modified crop and animal varieties, which have a high nutritional value required for the achievement and maintenance of good health. It may also be in the form of new medical vaccines, drugs, and tools for medical diagnosis. These pharmaceutical companies make profits by producing GMO technology-related drugs.
Food Processing Companies
Food processing companies often use GMO technology to produce various brands of food. Among the methods applied is fermentation, a process involving the use of microorganisms and enzymes to add nutritious components to food products and beverages and to produces food products. GMO technology produces a wide variety of fermentation processes, which enhance production and result in increased profit margins for these companies.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Puriry Makandi has been writing since 2008. She works as a writer for Kitabu Publishers, where she writes features and news articles, among other assignments. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Egerton University.