One way that genetically modified foods are hurting our environment is that process can involve the exchange of genes between two totally different species. People are actually putting scorpion toxin into corn and fish antifreeze into tomatoes (De Greef). These changes in the plants make the plant able to with stand the attack of pests and weather, but it is still possible that the plant’s DNA will cross and make bad toxins. If a farmer plants a crop that has the resistance to herbicides, drought, cold, and pests those plants can eventually cross with weeds and then the farmer will end up with weeds that are resistant to everything too. Then the scientists will end up having to make the plants stronger to fight off the weeds, then the weeds will get stronger, and the cycle will keep on going.
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’.
There now are several crops such as corn, soybeans, and cotton that have a Bacillus Thuringiensis’ gene. Genetically modified foods also have two major traits: pesticide production and herbicide resistance. Pesticide production keeps farmers and environmentalists from having to worry about the agonizing pain of lost crops and a financial dwelling. This is because pesticides are used on m... ... middle of paper ... ...J.T.. 2003. Public Perceptions of Genetically Modified Foods: A National Study of American Knowledge and Opinion.
The concern is that GMO plants are transferring their genetics, and sometimes, full GMO traits, to conventional crops. Many now fear that under-regulated GMO crops could unintentionally alter a major food source in such a way as to make it incompatible with human consumption. Pharming is the process of inserting genes that code for pharmaceutical drugs into common crops, like carrots (kraemer). If those genes were to get outside of the laboratory setting, and into our conventional carrot crops, carrots could become toxic and inedible. The first vector in which GMO crops can transfer their genes to conventional crops is through cross-pollination, where GMO plant pollen is transferred, via wind or bee pollination, to conventional cro... ... middle of paper ... ...etically Engineered Microorganisms."
Bt corn, which is a genetically modified strain of corn which kills insects who ingest it, is a highly controversial crop. Certain studies that have taken place in prestigious colleges, such as Cornell, have shown it to kill monarch butterflies and damage the ecosystem. Other researchers believe it is highly beneficial in increasing crop yield and also claim it is more effective than pesticides in reducing Corn Borers. There exist many benefits and drawbacks to the use of Bt corn. Bt corn is a form of corn where Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacteria, is transplanted into the corn as a form of pesticide.
There are two main types of GM crops that are in commercial use around the world. These are either crops that have been developed to be resistant to certain crop pests, or crops that have been developed to be resistant to a particular herbicide (weed killer)(5). Genetically Modified Crops are made for many different purposes, the main purpose being to create a food able to survive being sprayed with harmful chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. Other purposes are to make food stay fresher for longer, to kill pests, to produce more of the crop and to experiment with taste and quality. The most common foods are maize, cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, canola, soybean and sugar beet(6).
The two types of crops I will focus most of my attention on are corn reistant to the European corn borer and "Roundup" herbicide resistant soybeans. Monsanto, along with other companies, has developed corn varieties to resist European corn borer infestations. The gene inserted in these crops is called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt is a natural bacterium in the soil that produces a protein to disrupt the digestive systems of targeted pests (Monsanto Crossroads). This same gene is also used in varieties of cotton to protect against the tobacco budworm, cotton bollworm, and pink bollworm, and in potato varieties... ... middle of paper ... ...'s Next For Designer Seeds?"
Works Cited Wolfenbarger, Laressa L., and Paul R. Phifer. "The ecological risks and benefits of genetically engineered plants." Science 290.5499 (2000): 2088-2093. Jesse, Laura C. Hansen, and John J. Obrycki. "Field deposition of Bt transgenic corn pollen: lethal effects on the monarch butterfly."
The US government knows the harms also that the pesticides bring upon us, “Despite these negative impacts, U.S. government regulators continue to approve GMO crops. Most recently, the EPA approved a toxic herbicide cocktail known as Enlist Duo, a blend of glyphosate and 2, 4-D, to be used on genetically engineered corn and soybean crops in six Midwest states with consideration for adding ten more states. Earth justice has challenged the agency’s approval under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), arguing that the EPA did not adequately analyze the impacts of 2, 4-D on human health. Earth justice is also arguing that the EPA’s approval violated the Endangered Species Act, as there was no consultation by the EPA with the Fish &
In recent decades, producers have been experimenting with different methods (e.g. GM, conventional, organic) to ensure staple crops (European Commission, 2010, p. 236). Explanation and Spreading of GM Food GM food is based on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which can be defined as organisms in which genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. (Marie Kreipe, 2010, p. 3) As stated above, GM food is a product that has been created and modified with specific techniques by people and not naturally produced by nature, nowadays plenty country has been using this technology to modified (mostly) crops, so that crops could be resistant against pests, could stay longer, and could even eliminate some threatening pests. It’s created by injecting genes/DNA into it so it could change how does the plant normally grown into GM Plants.