Advantages and Problems of Genetically Modified Agricultural Crops

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Advantages and Problems of Genetically Modified Agricultural Crops Genetically Modified food (GM) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption, using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. Genetic engineering can create plants with the extract desired trait, both accurately and rapidly. For example frost can destroy sensitive seedlings, an antifreeze gene from cold water fish has been introduced to plants such as tobacco and potatoes, and with this anti freeze gene these plants are able to tolerate the cold temperatures that would normally kill unmodified seedlings. Crop losses from insect pests can be staggering resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing countries. Farmers typically use chemical pesticides annually. Consumers do not wish to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of potential health hazards. Growing GM food such as Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t) corn could eliminate the application of chemical pesticides. B.t is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces crystal proteins that are lethal to insect larva; B.t crystal protein genes have been inserted into corn, enabling the corn to produce its own pesticides against insects. There is also a risk that inserting a gene into a plant may create a new allergen. The world population is estimated at around 6 million it is predicted that in the next 50 years that the population will double, ensuring adequate food supp... ... middle of paper ... ...ence alone -- but will certainly not be solved without the contribution of science, including GM. Food scientists and technologists can support the responsible introduction of GM techniques provided that issues of product safety, environmental concerns, ethics and information are satisfactorily addressed. So that the benefits that this technology can confer become available both to improve the quality of the food supply and to help feed the world's escalating population in the coming decades. As technology becomes even more advanced then GM will gradually become more accepted into society it will become a natural process in the years to come. Bibliography. Waugh. D. 1995 Geography An intergrated approach. 2nd Edition
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