Genetically Modified Food Essay

Submitted By jaredjones101
Words: 986
Pages: 4

Benefits of Genetically Modified Food
The use of Genetically modified foods has been a controversial topic since first being introduced in the early 1990’s. How foods are genetically modified and which foods are genetically modified have been the start to many debates. Genetically modified foods or GM Foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms or GMO’s. GMO’s are organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA through genetic engineering techniques. Despite being a recently new practice, this idea has been implemented for centuries through other means such as selective breeding. The most common type of GMOs and the one that will be focused in this thesis are genetically modified crops or GM Crops. Like GMOs GM Crops are plants that have been given specific traits to increase resistance to insects, produce more seeds, grow healthier, or even add more nutritional value. GM Crops are the future of farming and should be used to produce not just higher quality food but quantity too. In return this will help reduce world wide hunger and disease. By using genetic engineering and creating herbicide-resistant plants the need for tillage has been reduced. Leaves, stems, flowers, and other parts of the plant can remain on the soil surface and drastically reduce soil erosion. Plants are also regularly attacked by insects, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These damages could lead to important losses in crop yield. To protect plants against such harms farmers spray gallons of pesticides to kill the dangers to plants. Pesticides often use chemicals toxic to humans and other animals too. With the potential of these harmful chemicals staying in the soil for long periods of time or mixing into the water supply such as rivers and lakes. By using genetic engineered insect-resistant plants the amount of pesticides used by farmers and others can be greatly reduced. Those who oppose GM Crops claim the possibility of antibiotic-resistant bacteria forming do to the plants heavy resistance to diseases. Although the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria would be a real problem for man, it is primarily caused do to misuse of antibiotics in medical practices. It is not a simple process for an antibiotic-resistance gene to get transferred from a GM plant to a soil bacterium and then to a bacterium pathogenic for man. Still such a possibility has been considered. Genetical engineers are able to remove the marker gene in the plant which that would cause bacteria to change while still keeping the plant herbicide-resistant. Some people fear that the change of DNA through genetic engineering and creation of new crops may cause allergies. But this is no different then conventional plant breeding containing a protein that may cause allergies. On the other hand genetic engineering can actually be used to reduce allergies. For example science can use genetic engineering to block an allergenic protein in a plant. Among other feared risks concerning the environment gene flow, is also mentioned. This is the idea that a pollen from a GM Crop could pollinate another plant unintentionally creating a super plant or weed. There are several ways to prevent such an event from happening. One way would be to simply use physical containment, separating the plants to ensure that there are no plants of the same family or using plants the do not flower and pollinate. Another way would be to control a plants gene flow. This can be done by placing the added traits of the plant into the chloroplast of the cell rather than the DNA of the nucleus. This ensures safety because the pollen of a plant does not carry chloroplast. In addition to creating plants resistant to herbicides and pathogens plants have also been made to have improved nutritional qualities. Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness in around half a million people, mainly