GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
There are over a billion mouths to feed in this world and we need to secure our food sources for the future generations to come. Genetically modified crops are one major way of approaching this issue but there are many individuals that respond to this solution with outright opposition.
The growth in population means that we will need more food from fewer inputs and GM food are giving us a road that must be explored. First, we need to know what exactly is a genetically modified organism (GMO).
A GMO is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These organisms include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. These GM products are so commonly used and experts say 60% to
70% of processed foods on U.S. grocery shelves have genetically modified ingredients. One of the most common GM food are soybeans.
GM soybeans, or Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans are one of the most commonly planted GMO.
It was produced by the biotech giant Monsanto and was made commercially available to farmers in 1996. The RR soybeans were developed to help the plant survive when being sprayed on with the non-selective herbicide, Roundup, which can kill soybean plants.
The GM soybean from Monsanto was modified with a copy of a gene from the Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4. The original soybean has a similar gene in its DNA that is sensitive to glyphosate, the active ingredient of the herbicide Roundup. With the CP4 version of the gene inserted, the
GM soybean was able to resist to the Roundup Herbicide.
The GM food crop is a very important crop as it assists in the manufacturing of other food products. Soy is used commonly around the world to feed livestock as it provides the essential proteins required by the livestock to grow. Other products from soybeans are processed to become ingredients and additives for other food. Today, most processed foods may likely have a soy byproduct as a ingredient in some way.
North and South America are the biggest soybeans producers in the world. Argentina, Brazil and the United States are seen as major producers of the total soybean supply for the world. In these countries the cultivation of GM soybeans are treated like general soybeans that are planted in farms without much restriction.
It is not so hard to imagine that most food containing soybeans as an ingredient may contain
GM soybeans. As many people were against the idea of GM food, this information has shocked many consumers that are in doubt about the safety of producing genetically modified crops for food. Pros and Cons
Genetically Modified soybeans provides faster growth and can last a long period of time compared to the regular crops. As they are engineered to withstand weed killers, likewise, they will be able to withstand harsh conditions including weather. This means that most of the harvest will survive. The GM soybeans will also have the ability create vaccines and medicines that could treat human diseases in a cost-eﬀective manner. Associating the GM soybeans in to your diet could avoid the likelihood go the occurrence of harmful illnesses and diseases. However, as most of the farmers use weed killers to destroy other unwanted plants, the GM soybeans would leave these chemicals on the ground which would damage the natural predators and delicate ecosystems. The GMO engineering system is still new to us and scientists haven't yet worked out every eﬀect that they could have on humans in long-term periods. These GM soybeans could have unpredictable side eﬀects on health as there are chemical compounds present and that could harm the human diet. According to scientists, after the consumption of GM soybeans over a long time can cause toxemia and liver damage. The sudden incorporation of GM
soybeans also has the possibility of