For millennia, humans have genetically modified  crops and animal populations through selective breeding. As a result, many plant and animal species today look significantly different from their pre-domesticated ancestors. Watermelons were once pale, bitter fruits that were only five centimeters (two inches) in diameter. However, by planting watermelons with redder flesh over the years, we have influenced their genetics. Today’s watermelons are large, red, and sweet.
Nowadays, the food industry uses a practice called Genetic Modification (GM), a more aggressive form of intervention than selective breeding. Genetically modified organisms, or for short, GMOs, were altered in ways that are not usually seen in nature. GM involves directly implanting the traits we want in the genetic makeup of an organism that will, in turn, be manifested in the final product.
GM crops are used because of their potential benefits.
By 2050, the world’s population of seven billion today is expected to reach nine billion. The UN stated that in order to keep up with this increasing population, food production must double over the next 35 years. However, space for farmland is shrinking, and thus, we must find a way to increase yields without increasing the amount of land used for farming. Thus, GM crops with higher yields and the ability to endure harsh environments can be a solution to this problem.
GM technology can create foods with better nutritional values in comparison to non-GM crops. For example, 500,000 children under the age of five go blind every year due to a Vitamin A deficiency  in their diet and half of them die within a year of losing their sight, especially in Africa and Asia. In order to combat this, scientists engineered a crop called golden rice. It is expected to supply up to 50% of the average requirement for vitamin A for preschool-aged children and pregnant mothers.
We can modify crops so that they can protect themselves from pests and insects, which allows farmers to reduce the amount of pesticide used. For example, the Bt gene is engineered into some crops, such as corn, cotton, and soybean, to make them toxic to many insects.
Despite these efforts, many anti-GM campaigners have not approved of the use of GM crops due to the following concerns:
These crops can pose a serious risk to the environment through cross-pollination with other non-GM crops to produce unexpected and unwanted results: offspring that could disrupt the established food chain.
Some GMO foods may have genes that can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. In the mid-1990s, a strain of genetically modified soybean triggered an allergic reaction in individuals that were sensitive  to Brazilian nuts.
GM crops are more resistant to herbicides, and because of that, many farmers can increase their use of herbicides without hurting their crops. Consumption of these herbicides may be linked  to various illnesses.
Although much research has to be done on the potential ramifications of GMOs, we shouldn’t completely rule out the use of such crops just because they seem to be “unnatural.” GMOs have the potential to change agricultural practices for the better.