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Genetically Modified Crops

Powerful Essays
Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically modified crops (GM crops) climb to the top on the hotly debated issues list of society. In 1996, no GM crops were cultivated on a commercial scale in the United States. In 2002, 75% of soya, 71% of cotton, and 34% of all maize grown in America is GM ("Grim Reaper" 1). Many issues surround this controversial topic such as safety, ethics, and foreign relations. Many of these concerns are well stressed in mass media, but sometimes biased views are the only ones presented. Safety with human health and the effects on the environment appear to be the strongest and most discussed subject matter. While issues of concern accompany the usage of GM crops, argument can be made to justify their production.

HISTORY

What many people do not know is that genetic modification has been going on since the founder of Genetics, Gregor Mendel, cross- bred his pea plants for different affects. Many of the flowers sold and bought in our society are mutations and mixing of genes. "The corn we eat today is the result of decades of· self-pollination followed by cross-pollination to produce vigorous hybrid plants" ("History" 3). For well over a century, playing with genes has given humans a more cost and space efficient means of mass-producing plants, whether that is corn, potatoes, strawberries or flowers. The National Research Council met in 1989 to discuss some concerns over field testing of GM organisms (GMOs). A report from the National Academy of Science said, "Crops modified by genetic engineering should pose risks that are no different from those of cops modified by classical genetic methods" (Hokanson 1). These classical methods range from Mendel's cross-breeding to wi...

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...gy Products being Developed"

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology December 2, 1999

"Public 'Misled' On GE Risk" Knowledge Centre par. 8; Feb 25, 2001:

"Risks and Concerns" Center for Life Sciences and Dept. of Soil and Crop Sciences Colorado State University Par. 12; August 19, 2002

< http://www.colostate.edu/programs/lifesciences/TransgenicCrops/allergy.html>

Robinson, Clare. "GM Issues: An Introduction to the Scientific Issues of GM" John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK 2000:

Stokstad, Erik. "A Little Pollen Goes a Long Way" Science Now July 1, 2002: 1-2.

"What's Wrong with Genetic Engineering?" Organic Consumers Association Par.1;

< http://www.frankenfoods.org/>
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