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The Concerns and Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Crops

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The Concerns and Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Crops The debate about the safety and need for genetically modified crops and foods has raged since the mid '90s. A lot of time and money has been spent by biotechnology companies, scientists, and governments, to convince people that there is really nothing to worry about, and that this technology will provide benefits to all. But while GM crops are now being used widely by farmers in the USA, consumers in the European Union and Japan have reacted strongly against them1. Although this has slowed the rate at which GM crops and foods are being introduced, the biotech industry is continuing to promote them. For numerous generations agriculturalists have used selective breeding to improve characteristics such as size. However Genetic Modification is very different. It is a process whereby genes are translocated from one organism to another; subsequently changing the characteristics of the 'acceptor' organism2. This transfer of genes is a difficult and haphazard procedure, and at present there is no standard way to control the outcome. It is now known that genes are found in groups, and that inserted genes tend to end up in these; so randomly inserting a new gene has the potential to disrupt the native genes and how they operate. In fact, such disruptions are quite common. Inserted genes can sometimes fail to work, or behave in unexpected ways; or affect the functioning of native genes. Scientists have voiced concern that such disruptions could lead to unexpected toxins being produced, or to changes in the levels of nutrients and naturally occurring toxins. There are examples of ... ... middle of paper ... ...entists Speak By Brian John Ford. ISBN: 0954359534 2. http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm 3. Science Today - Pg 289 Titled: Reaping the Plant Gene Harvest. By T. Gura 4. New Scientist - 30th October 2002 Titled: "Zambia Bans GM Food Aid." By Andy Coghlan 5. Nutritional Therapy Today 7 (1997) - Pg5 Titled: "Substantial Equivalence - A license to kill?" By Antoniou M. 6. http://foodstandards.gov.uk/science/sciencetopics/gmfoods/gm_reports 7. The Daily Telegraph - 19th February 1999 Titled: "Report raises fear of faster decline in farm wildlife." By Charles Glover 8. http://www.bioline.org.br/request?au00056 9. The Sunday Express - 14th November 1999 By Roger Highfield · A New Introduction to Biology. By Bill Indge, Martin Rowland, Margaret Baker
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