Genetic Engineering in Agriculture

2098 Words5 Pages

Genetic Engineering in Agriculture

"Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before would deserve better of Mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together." -The King of Brobdingnag, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, 17271


Genetically engineered foods are the rage of the day for farmers across the world. Farmers are able to grow larger, tastier, more colorful foods that are more readily available and attractive to consumers. At the same time, farmers actually have been saving money because their crops are now more resistant to drought, frost, insect infestations, and bruising during transportation to markets. How does this work you ask....genetically modified foods. With the world's population growing at a rate that earth's resources simply can't support naturally, scientific intervention has become and will become even more inevitable. Feeding the world's hungry is becoming a more difficult problem to deal with everyday as the populations in unfarmable locations grow to sizes that cannot be supported by the current world food supply. My only question is: Will food or water run out first?


For thousands of years 2, humans have been selecting the seeds of plants with certain desirable genetic traits to plant the following years crop. For years upon years, growers have identified and cultivated useful plant variants through selective breeding and environmental alterations. Corn, as it is known today, is nothing like it was a thousand years ago. Gregor Mendel, the "Father of Genetics", wrote his first major paper on genetics in 1865 where he puts into words wha...

... middle of paper ...

...cannot be predicted, but we should do our best to preserve a species when possible. Let us feed the world with caution for the environment, morality and humanity.


1. Plant Physiology, C.S. Prakash; May 2001, Volume 126, pp. 8-15

(no link)

2. Transgenic Crops, History of Plant Breeding

3. Webster's Dictionary (online)

4. The Scientist, Using Transgenesis to Create Salt-Tolerant Plants, Ricki Lewis; March

2002 (To use this link you

will have to use a registered email, use

5. Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, August 2003;

Open Document