According to Bakshi (p.211), the use of biotechnology in agricultural production is a major tool for enhancing food security and sustaining the environment. Biotechnology is considered important in addressing the challenge of food availability, alleviation of poverty and environmental conservation. In this regard (Tramper et al 408), it is important to note that GMOs are produced by the introduction of extra genetic information into a certain organism through genetic engineering. The methods are a natural creation of the strategies hitherto employed with an aim of getting different varieties and strains. While some have seen GMOs as a solution to hunger, others have considered this innovation a danger as far as food security is concerned.
Genetically modified (GM) crops are being developed today to help supply the earths growing population with the plants that we all rely on for survival. Genes are being placed into plants to help them resist the adverse conditions that would have resulted as a loss of yield in the past. Plants are also being transformed to give us the most out of the crops that we grow. Even with these benefits there are perceived consequences that have resulted in much debate about this technology. Arguments from both sides address the same issues from different points of view.
The use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture is on the rise. Many scientists debate that genetic engineering in the agriculture field is the best way to answer many issues pertaining to poverty, environmental harm, food security, and the necessity for increasing competition in sales. In the other hand, others raise ethical issues relating to the health of the people who consume these genetically modified food, the potential damage to the environment as well as the welfare of the farmers and their food security. Genetically Modified Organisms, short form (GMOs), refer to organism whose genome has been engineered in the laboratory in order to favour the expression of desired physiological traits or the production of desired biological products.1 The use of genetically modified organisms to improve the quality and production of agriculture is still an unanswered discussion topic. Biotechnology organizations are enthusiastically exploring in the research and development of new technologies that will improve food security and increase production of crops in both the developed and developing worlds.
Genetically Modifying Food Genetically modifying food is becoming a highly controversial issue these days. Some scientists believe that Genetic Modified Food (GMF) can benefit the community in a great variety of ways, while others believe that it can do a great harm to the environment and human health. In addition, GMF raises many issues in regards to religions, ethics, law and many others. More importantly, what we should be concerned is whether having the ability to genetically modify species gives us the right to do so. Before we go on any further, it is extremely crucial for us to fully understand what exactly genetically modifying food is all about.
Genetically Modified Crops For years farmers have fought pest, weeds, and diseases to grow crops. There have been many pesticides and herbicides used to help with these problems, only to find out later that they are damaging our environment and a health hazard to animals and humans. They are constantly searching for new ways to improve farming. Genetically engineered crops began in 1996 (Charmin 74-83). Genetically engineered crops appear to have minimal effects on the environment and humans, they produce larger yields of crops, and they could be the answer to world hunger.
These plants are genetically modified to enhance or even introduce desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides and pests, improved nutritional content and adaptations to harsh or hostile environments. The enhancement of desired traits of crop plants is not something new. This had been done millennia ago through selective breeding and grafting, but this conventional process can be very time-consuming and are often ineffective or inaccurate. On the other hand, through genetic engineering, crop plants with desired traits can be cultivated qui... ... middle of paper ... ...ction of antibodies, biopharmaceuticals and edible vaccines in plants (2001, May) Trends in Plant Science, Pg. 219-226 4.
Web. 23 February 2011. “Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms.” Office of Biological and Environmental Research. The Human Genome Program, 05 November 2008. Web.
The past twenty years have seen rise to a new burgeoning scientific field: genetically modified foods. During the plant breeding process, geneticists interfere with the reproduction and modify the genes of the new seedling by introducing a fragment of DNA from another organism that possesses the desired trait. With genetic modification, scientists can increase the pest, herbicide, cold, and drought tolerance so that the crop can survive in harsher climates. In some cases, the nutritional value can even be increased (Ulrich 9). Despite the obvious benefits of more nutritious foods and crops that are hardier and more resistant to harsher climates, there are some concerns surrounding GM foods.
Plant Biotechnology for food and feed. April 12th, 2011. http://www.fda.gov/food/biotechnology/default.htm (accessed April 13th, 2011). Umezawa T, Fujita M, Fujita Y, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K. "Engineering drought tolerance in plants: discovering and tailoring genes to unlock the future." PubMed, 2006: 22-113. United States Department of Agriculture.
Introduction Genetic engineering involves manual modification of genetic material in most cases DNA, which is modified within a plant or animal. Biotechnology has developed due to further understanding of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which is a double helix structure from which genomes are coded. In the last few years, genetic engineering, which involves altering DNA, has become a controversial discussion topic due to its benefits, such as improving nutritional quality and growth of crops, and disadvantages, e.g. potential toxicity and creation of new pathogens (Uzogara, 2000). This is a major concern to society due to the inconclusive studies related to the health and environmental impact of genetically modified crops are good or bad.