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GM Crops

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...

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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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