Gm Food Pros And Cons Essay Example

Essay on Pros And Cons of Genetically Modified Foods

3322 Words14 Pages

The world has seen many changes and advances over the last century, but possibly none that hold as many possibilities as genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is turning up in more and more places, and it is almost certainly here to stay. Just as computers and plastics changed most aspects of living since they were invented, biological engineering has the potential to do the same in the future. This new technology has a wide range of possible benefits, from helping farmers, to improving foods, to helping the environment, to helping sick people. Genetic engineering may even one day be used to help solve world hunger. However, it also has its dangers and risks, which need to be considered along with its benefits. The fact that not…show more content…

Also discovered were vectors, which are DNA codes that can insert themselves into other separate codes. A virus is an example of a vector. Scientists learned how to build and use special vectors to insert genes of their choice into an organism’s DNA code ("What is Genetic Engineering?"). Numerous techniques (such as selective breeding) have been used for years to change gene codes, but through genetic engineering, scientists can move genes much easier than before and with greater precision ("What are the Dangers?"). Scientists believe that by using these techniques, they will be able to improve the quality and characteristics of food that people eat. Genetically modified food ("GM food") is food with ingredients that have been genetically altered for traits such as larger size, pest resistance in the field, and faster growth. For example, scientists have used this technology to improve a tomato’s ability to resist freezing. To achieve this, a gene from a flounder was added to the tomato’s DNA code, which enable the plant to resist frosts and extends its growing season ("What is Genetic Engineering?"). Another gene was found that could help wheat grow in fields that normally would not support it. Cows with altered DNA can even produce milk that contains chemicals such as human insulin, which diabetics need to survive ("Frequently Asked Questions"). These are all examples of how scientists can use gene-splicing technology to

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Essay The Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Crops

1537 Words7 Pages

For thousands of years, humans have transformed their surroundings and neighboring organisms to suit their needs. The transformation first took place when humans spread seeds onto the earth to grow their own food, and continued when humans reached out to provide food and shelter to other animals in exchange for labor, companionship and sustenance. When early agriculture proved successful, the best and strongest animals and crops were chosen for the next generation. This was the dawn of genetic modification, and it is as old as agriculture itself. When speaking about genetically modified or genetically engineered organisms, an important distinction must be made. This new breed of technology does not use traditional means of gene…show more content…

These consequences can potentially affect human populations, but the environment can also be affected on a local or regional level. Most public concern has been focused on human health and safety regarding the use and consumption of these foods, but potential environmental impacts are important to consider as well. Many varieties of genetically engineered crops are intended to decrease the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers, but the scope of environmental impacts does not stop at chemical usage. Common concerns about GM crops include the effects of cross-pollination, so-called “genetic contamination,” and the escape of GM crops from cultivation and their interactions with native species. Conversely, the environmental benefits of GM crops range from reducing dependence on chemical pesticides to the ability to treat polluted soils with bioremediating plants (Ford, 2004). Many varieties of genetically engineered crops have been designed to decrease the need for chemicals, particularly pesticides. Herbicide-tolerant varieties are among the most widely used type of genetically-modified crop, which enables farmers to use a single herbicide to eradicate weeds rather than rely on a cocktail of pesticides and herbicides. Eliminating weeds in this fashion also decreases the need for soil tillage, which can negatively impact soil ecology. (Ford,

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