Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Foods Are genetically modified foods safe? Genetically modified foods are crop plants created for human or animal consumption using molecular biological techniques. These plants have been modified to enhance certain traits like increased resistance to herbicides or improve nutritional content. This process traditionally has been done through breeding, but is not very accurate. Scientists have been using biotechnology to implant the gene that makes the plants act the way they want them to.
30) Many Americans do not know that genetically modified foods are a staple of United States agriculture. Genetically modified foods are harmful to the human body because: they harm internal organs, cause birth defects in babies, and can potentially lead to cancer. Genetically modified foods, also known as “GMO’s” “is the manipulation of DNA by humans to change essential genetic makeup of plants and animals.” (Mather, Pg. 42) New technology allows scientists to remove the genetic material from one plant species and insert them into another plant species, thus creating a new gene quality. This allows plants to produce pesticides and herbicides.
Genetically Modified Crops For years farmers have fought pest, weeds, and diseases to grow crops. There have been many pesticides and herbicides used to help with these problems, only to find out later that they are damaging our environment and a health hazard to animals and humans. They are constantly searching for new ways to improve farming. Genetically engineered crops began in 1996 (Charmin 74-83). Genetically engineered crops appear to have minimal effects on the environment and humans, they produce larger yields of crops, and they could be the answer to world hunger.
Specific issues regarding this technology involve human and environmental safety as well as ethical and conservation concerns. A common example of a GMO plant would be Monsanto’s Roundup® Ready Corn. One of the methods the Monsanto Company genetically engineers this plant is through soil bacterial and E.coli bacteria. After several years of research, Monsanto discovered a specific soil bacterium which was naturally immune to Roundup® herbicide. The next step in their process was to genetically engineer this bacteria’s DNA into various plants so they, too, could be Roundup® resistant or ‘Roundup® Ready’.
ARGUMENT FOR THE STATEMENT. The genetic integrity of crops has been altered by farmers in an effort to improve efficiency for over 10 000 years. They can be seen as pioneer genetic engineers, altering plants by crossbreeding them with others using the knowledge of inheritance of traits. Long before GE was thrust into the limelight, selective breeding assumed scientific status, allowing very direct control over crop evolution for the benefit of society. Plant breeding was confined to making crosses within and between crop species which occur naturally, and nature itself evolved.
http://www.monsanto.co.uk/primer/benefits.html u What are genetically modified (GM) foods? 19/03/05. http://home.howstuffworks.com/question148.htm u Why Biotechnology Matters. 15/03/05. http://www.monsanto.co.uk/primer/why.html u Why Genetically Engineered Food Should Be Labeled.
Chemicals are constantly being developed or improved to enhance the competitiveness and adaptability of crops, and to kill the parasites and weeds which plague the agricultural sector. . This however is not always good as the plant and the pests then become resistant to these new chemicals defeating the purpose of it being used. The new chemicals which are produced to kill these strong pests and weeds may be more harmful to other plants and remove nutrients within the soil in turn reducing the yield of agricultural crops. The benefits of these characteristics are seen in Argentina according to Pelletier (2010) as they use glyphosphate resistant soybean which allowed the comeback of this crop, as the so... ... middle of paper ... ...9).
Out of these transgenic crops, corn, papaya, and soy are the three most distributed transgenic crops in the United States (Dubey, 2010). Internationally, the four principle genetically altered crops are corn, cotton, canola, and soybeans (Nguthi, 2011). There are many benefits of growing transgenic crops; they can be made stronger, more nutritious and are also easily cared for. Transgenic crops are also pest resistant, herbicide tolerant, disease resistant, tolerant to the colder weather, drought tolerant, more nutritional, have pharmaceutical benefits, and are able to under go phytoremediation. Genetically modified crops can increase the nutrition of the public, while increasing the profits of farme... ... middle of paper ... ...m Soderlund, C., Collura, K., Wissotski, M., Ashley, E., Morrow, D., Fernandes, J., Walbot, V., Yu, Y., Descour, A., Kudrna, D., Bomhoff, M., Boyd, L., Currie, J., Angelova, A.
Genetically modified foods, according to the Food and Drug Administration, are foods with genetic material that has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally. The government chooses to produce and sell these products because they have some specified benefit to them that differs from food to food. (WHO, int., 2014) The original idea of growing plants centered around genetically modified organisms was to appeal to farmers by improving crop protection. One form of this protection is insect resistance, which is done by giving a crop the gene for toxin production from the BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) bacterium. This bacteria is added because not only does it act as an insecticide, but it is also safe for human consumption.
While some have seen GMOs as a solution to hunger, others have considered this innovation a danger as far as food security is concerned. This is to imply that though GMOs have been touted as being beneficial, the disadvantages of GMOs surpass the benefits. Those in support of GMOs are driven by various technological traits under the developments they maintain hold a promise to boost crop output at affordable prices. This is in addition to major advantages to the consumers with more environmental preservation strategies (Leggie and Durant 59). The proponents present the input trait invention, which seeks to cultivate bioengineered elements into the crops with an aim of substantially reducing the incorporation of environmentally dangerous pesticides.