The Potential of Genetically Modified Foods

1981 Words8 Pages
Technology thrives today. It is omnipresent, to the point where it has become almost unnoticeable. There is technology in communication, in transport, in design, and in advertising. At a glance, food does not seem to be a place for technology. For centuries, people have gradually mastered the intricate science of breeding to produce the best foods possible. But now, a new and radically different way to modify foods has arisen. It is much faster than traditional breeding, and it promises to create unimaginable species from which humankind can greatly benefit. It is genetic engineering. Genetic engineering modifies a specific gene or set of genes of an organism to change it favorably. A gene is a hereditary unit that carries the information for certain features of an organism. Hence, a person with blue eyes has a gene or a group of genes that code for the color blue in her eyes. Every characteristic of every organism is somehow linked to its genes. Therefore, knowledge of what each gene does and how it can be modified is valuable and has the potential to achieve feats never conceived before. For example, it is theoretically possible to produce a fruit that is not only cheap and easy to grow, but that contains the vaccine for a certain disease (Franco). The process to modify genes in an organism is relatively simple, especially if the organism in subject is a plant. Adelaida Franco, a biologist from the University of the Andes who has worked at the Vegetable Crops Department at the University of Florida, explained the procedure: A device known as a “gene gun” is used to shoot genes into cells of the plant located in a petri dish. Most of the cells are destroyed during this process, but some survive and successful... ... middle of paper ... ...delaida. Personal interview. 19 Nov. 2013. Gunther, Marc. "McDonald's GMO Dilemma: Why Fries Are Causing Such a Fuss." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. Gurian-Sherman, Doug. Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops. Cambridge: UCS, 2009. Print. "History of the Golden Rice Project." Golden Rice Project. Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. "Improving Agriculture." Monsanto. Monsanto Company, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. Kenner, Robert, dir. Food, Inc. Screenplay by Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, and Kim Roberts. Participant Media, 2010. Film. Liptak, Adam. "Supreme Court Supports Monsanto in Seed-Replication Case." New York Times. New York Times Company, 13 May 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. Paul, Maya W. "The Anti-Cancer Diet." HelpGuide. N.p., May 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
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