GMO Argumentative Essay

925 Words2 Pages

The term GM foods or GMO (genetically-modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques (Whitman, 2000). These plants have been modified in the laboratory to offer desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. Also, genetic engineering techniques have been applied to create plants with the exact desired trait very rapidly and accurately. For example, this is done by the geneticist isolating the gene responsible for drought tolerance and inserts it into another plant. The new genetically-modified plant will now have gained drought tolerance as well.
The term ‘genetic engineering’ covers several methods of manipulating genetic material, otherwise known as genetic manipulation; recombinant DNA technology and gene therapy in humans(Atkinson, 1998). This technique is not only used for genetic transfer between plants; but, genes from non-plant organisms can be used as well. A known example of this is the transfer of the B.t gene found in corn and other crops. The B.t gene, or otherwise known as ‘Bacillus thurngiensis (Bt)’; is a naturally occurring bacterium that create proteins with crystals that are fatal to insect larvae (Whitman, 2000). These B.t genes have
The first and best known example is the various sub-species of the bacterium ‘Bacillus thurnigenesis’. As mentioned earlier, these produce crystalline proteins otherwise known as ‘Δ-endotoxins’ or ‘cry proteins’ (Ellis et al, 2002). These endotoxins attack the digestive tract of the insect. The Bt spores then leaks from the gut and germinate in the insect causing death within few days. Bacillus thurnigenesis (Bt) Δ-endotoxins are well known for their ability to control a variety of insect pests, including members of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Diptera

Open Document