Should GM Plants Be Banned?

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Should governments keep a control over the production of GM plants? Oxford Dictionaries defines being “genetically modified” is equivalent to containing artificially altered genetic material designed to have desirable traits. (Oxford Dictionaries, 2011). It was in 1973 that Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer co-founded the means to achieve DNA cloning and techniques to transplant genes between different biological species and genetic engineering was born (Time, 2002). It is arguable that hybrid species and selective breeding has already existed thousands of years before. But, the significance of genetically engineered organisms is that the gene transfer can be made between non-related organisms such as a plant and an animal. According to BBC News, the first transgenic tobacco plant which is resistant to an antibiotic was created in 1983 and the first commercial delay-ripened GM tomato hit the shelves in the US in 1993 (1999). Since then, people began to debate the pros and cons of the presence of genetically modified food based on various viewpoints in different fields such as health, ecology, ethics, and religion. Seed companies boost that genetically modified plants have better capabilities to survive harsh weather conditions and torn away soil. Their claims give hope to the world that GM plants can feed the world's hungry population and repair the environmental damage in the countries where desertification and soil erosion is taking away the farm lands. While the proposed benefits are favorable, it is also feared by a lot of people that the production of GM plants will be tainted with genes from animals and allergenic proteins. This creates GM controversies concerning with religions which need to follow strict dietar... ... middle of paper ... ... 1 August 2011 from: http://www.monsanto.com/investors/documents/2009/q4_biotech_acres.pdf Monsanto (2010). ROUNDUP READY CANOLA GROWER LICENSE AND STEWARDSHIP AGREEMENT. [Online]. Retrieved on 2 August 2011 from: http://varietycentral.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Monsanto-RR-Canola-LSA.pdf Syngenta (2010). Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Launches Agrisure ArtesianTM Technology, First Water-Optimized Technology for Corn Hybrids. [Online]. Retrieved on 1 August 2011 from: http://www2.syngenta.com/en/media/mediareleases/en_100726.html Time (2002). The Pioneers of Molecular Biology: Herb Boyer. [Online]. Retrieved on 1 August 2011 from: http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101030217/scdprofile2.html WHO (2011). 20 questions on genetically modified foods. [Online]. Retrieved on 1 July 2011 from: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

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