The Safety and Marketability of Genetically Modified Corn

The Safety and Marketability of Genetically Modified Corn

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The Safety and Marketability of Genetically Modified Corn

Since Kraft Foods recently had to recall taco shells made from corn that was approved for human consumption, Arnold Weigand didn't know whether or not he should avoid growing any genetically modified corn. A study was conducted to examine whether or not growing genetically modified corn was a sound economical decision for Arnold Weigand. The problems with gentically modified corn, the dangerous chemicals in genetically modified corn, and the testing that has been done on genetically modified corn was reviewed. We also determined whether the corn would be successful in the market. To determine whether or not the corn would be successful in the market, we reviewed the companies that were or were not willing to buy the crop, and if the foreign markets were willing to purchase it. Finally, we reviewed our material and decided if Arnold Weigand should avoid growing genetically modified corn. We reached our decision regarding the safety of the crop and the future success in the market.


Safety


Is genetically modified corn safe? In 1999 a problem arose with genetically modified crops when a greater number of laboratory rats suffered from abnormalities in their small intestines after ten days of feeding on genetically modified potato diets, relative to those feeding on non-genetically modified potato diets. In an extraordinary unusual step within the scientific field, the same journal that published the paper simultaneously published the rebuttal. The rebuttal made it clear that the potato diet was in appropriate for rats, that similar intestinal abnormalities are well known in rats fed similar diets, and that the sample size, which consisted of six rats, was too small to draw any conclusions. The report was seized upon by anti-genetically modified advocates to support their contention that proper regulatory oversight is either lacking or inadequate. Another problem is that a widely-used genetically modified corn leaves traces of a toxin in the soil that remain deadly for pests for a long period and may have untold effects on other insects. This study is based upon experiments showing that transgenic corn has a devastating effect on North American monarch butterflies. This effect on the monarch butterfly has created a negative public concern, which is associated with press coverage of technological controversy. Researchers at New York University and the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigation examined a type of maize, called Bt corn, that has been modified to release toxins in the foliage to kill caterpillars and other pests.

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The only problem with this is that they also found that roots of the corn also exuded the toxin. Many plants produce a number of toxins and antinutritional factors that are thought to provide resistance to natural herbivores. In most domesticated crop species, the concentrations of such toxins are so low that they present no health concerns. In other species, breeders routinely screen new varieties to make sure that toxins are within a safe limit. In genetically modified crop plants, toxins are of concern in any species in which unsafe levels have been found. Before marketing, genetically modified crops must undergo extensive food, feed, and environmental safety assessments. The Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Heath Inspection Services all have jurisdiction for monitoring and regulating the development, testing, and release of genetically modified plants and plant products. Once genetically modified corn is regarded as safe, we must determine whether or not it will sell successfully in the markets.




Success in the Markets
Vast corporations process and handle the genetically modified products. Many of the companies purchase the agricultural products, process them, and distribute them to the supermarkets under their names. Examples include: Kellogg's, Quaker Oats, and General Mills. Success in the markets is influenced heavily by the public opinion.
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