Ever wish chocolate was healthy and could have the same nutrients and vitamins as fruit and vegetables? Food, one of three necessities of life, affects every living organism on Earth. Although some foods are disliked because of taste or health issues, recent discovery will open up new prosperities and growth in agriculture. Genetic engineering has the capability to make foods taste better, increase nutrient value, and even engineer plants to produce aids for deadly health issues. Every day the progress, understanding, and development of genetic engineering is digging deeper and with this knowledge virtually anything is possible.
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Today there are many definitions of Genetic Engineering, such as “Genetic Engineering is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living organisms” (Kowalski) and “Genetic Engineering refers to the modification or manipulation of a living organism’s genes” (Genetic). No matter the wording all definitions of genetic engineering refers to somehow changing an organism’s genetic identity. Many people today support genetic engineering because it has many potential benefits for today's society; however, it also has many potential threats associated with it. Because of the potential threats many people advocate for putting labels on food and products that have been genetically modified, which is why despite many potential benefits associated with genetic engineering, regulations need to be placed upon it as well as labels identifying organisms and food as genetically modified because consumers have the right to know what they are purchasing and eating. Not so long ago genetic modification was a thing of fiction, of mad scientists with crazy hair making monsters in laboratories powered by lightning.
Frankenfoods Biotechnology and genetically modified organisms have gained quite a bit of notoriety in the past decade. Proponents of biotechnology are claiming that genetic modification will revolutionize agriculture and medicine and overall benefit human kind far beyond the reaches of imagination. On the other side of the issue, there are those who claim that genetic modification is dangerous and unneeded. But is either side correct? Will GMOs revolutionize the food and health industries or will they cause damage and downfall?
Agricultural Genetic Engineering The ability to directly modify living organisms is a novel human technology. Since the discovery of the DNA molecule the field of genetics has grown at an astounding rate. We now have the ability to alter organisms to fit our needs. This prospect offers the possibility of solving problems that have plagued humanity for thousands of years. In recent years genetically modified organisms have found many practical applications, particularly in the agricultural sector.
24) Vandana Shiva “Poverty and Globalization” Reith 2000 Lectures, BBC. 25) Bruno Sobral “The Impact of Plant Molecular Genetics” (1996) Birkhauser, Boston. 26) David Suzuki and Peter Knudtson “Genethics” (1989) Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 27) Paul Thompson “Value Judgements and Risk Comparisons. The Case of Genetically engineered Crops” (2003) Plant Physiology Vol 132 p 10-16 28) S Uzogara “The Impact of genetic modification of human foods in the 21st century: a review” Biotechnology Adv.
Bio-engineering is used to make foods more nutritious by combining the best aspects of each individual plant. These crops are also remarkably safe because many plants are modified to be naturally pest repellant, making pesticides and harsh chemicals a thing of the past. In addition, genetically engineered foods create a solution to the problem of feeding a growing population while also boosting the economy and creating a multitude of new jobs. So, what exactly are genetically modified foods? According to a 2002 Michigan State University Food Laws and Regulations course, they can be defined as, “Plants, animals, and microorganisms which have had DNA introduced into them by means other than by combination of an egg and a sperm or by natural bacterial conjugation.” (The regulation of genetic modifications, 2002).
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