GM Crops

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GM Crops In February 2004, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett announced that commercial planting of some GM crops would commence in the United Kingdom following approval of genetically-modified maize within the scientific community. The Daily Mail responded to the announcement by stating that ‘the decision - by the Government's Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment - flies in the face of official polls showing 90 per cent of people oppose the genetic modification of crops and food’1. Gm crop production has remained a much debated subject within international politics and social discussion. Conflicting reports from the media which support and scrutinise the subject of genetically modified crops and their safety have heightened public concerns fuelling hysterical speculation. Yet there are advantages and disadvantages relating to the application of gene technology to crop production. The pros and cons of the commercial growth of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is combined closely within a mesh of economic, social, ethical and environmental factors that must be considered before answering the question – Should genetically modified crops be grown? Genetic modification or recombinant DNA technology is the technique of changing, and transferring genetic material. This genetic material contains deoxyribonucleic acid which carries the instructions for all the characteristics that an organism inherits. Genetic modification involves inserting or changing an organism’s genes to produce a desired characteristic. Methods of genetic modification include the use of mRNA where a desired gene is made from mRNA, obt... ... middle of paper ... ...and Food Security Position Paper November p1 : http://www.oxfam.org.uk Accessed 23/11/05 6. Indge B, Rowland M, Baker M, (2005), A New Introduction To BIOLOGY, Hodder and Stoughton, London, p166. 7. Indge B, Rowland M, Baker M, (2005), A New Introduction To BIOLOGY, Hodder and Stoughton, London, p165. 8. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/trade/trade_gm.htm?searchterm=gm%20food Accessed 23/11/05 9. Indge B, Rowland M, Baker M, (2005), A New Introduction To BIOLOGY, Hodder and Stoughton, London, p166. 10. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/contentlookup.cfm?CFID=3527056&CFTOKEN=79784729&ucidparam=20050321141127 Accessed 23/11/05 11. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/contentlookup.cfm?CFID=3527056&CFTOKEN=79784729&ucidparam=20050321141127 Accessed 23/11/05

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