Genetic modification (GM), also known as genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology, is a process that involves combining DNA, and later inserting the newly recombined DNA into cells to be expressed through protein synthesis. The use of this technology in food can result in both positive and negative consequences. Genetic modification of food can aid first world countries by improving the economy and increasing food supplies, and third world countries, by resolving the issue of nutrient deficiency. In spite of that, genetic modification of food can also have negative effects. These include disruption of the food chain and biodiversity, the production of new, unfamiliar allergens, and even economical decline. Currently, genetically modified food is permitted for use and importation in Australia (Benefits of gene technology, n.d.), which raises the question, whether the genetic modification of food can only have positive outcomes for today’s consumers.
In the genetic modification of food, a technique called transgenesis is used. It involves incorporating foreign DNA, or desired gene into the organism that is being manipulated. DNA is a long molecule with a double helix structure, present in essentially, all living organisms. It consists of subunits called nucleotides, and has the ability to self-replicate. Organisms that undergo transgenesis are transgenic. A range of techniques is available to transfer genes between organisms. The most common include microinjection and vectors. However, for the genetic modification of food, vectors are the most appropriate method for transgenesis. The most common technique for using vectors is th...
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