The Rise of Genetically Modified Foods - fieldbio

neighgreasycornerΒιοτεχνολογία

14 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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By Sara Vinik,
Jenn

Davidson, and
Emily Velez


Genetic modification is
within the realm of
genetic engineering



Genetic engineering
is
any process in which
scientists manipulate an
organism’s
genetical

material by adding,
deleting, or changing
segments of its DNA.


Genetically modified

(also known
as GM)
organisms

are organisms
that are genetically engineering
using recombinant DNA
technology.



Recombinant DNA

is DNA that is
patched together from the DNA of
various organisms.



Basically, DNA is broken up from
various organisms and then they
are spliced together



This is done to create a
combination of desirable traits


Developed by scientists who were studying the
bacterium
Escherichia coli



There are two methods of recombining DNA:
introducing the recombinant DNA directly into a
plant cell and regenerating a plant from it or, in the
cases of grains, a gene gun is used to shoot DNA
directly into the cells



An organism with DNA from another species is
called
transgenic

and the moved genes are called
transgenes
.


GM:

-
Done through
recombinant DNA

-
Can mix genes of
organisms as different as
spiders and crops

-
Involves lab


Traditional

-
Done through artificial
selection

-
Mixes genes from
individuals of the same
or similar species

-
Involves whole
organisms in the field


Similarities:

-
Done by humans

-
Same goal


-
1980s: Scientists
decided that the
reassembled genes in
the modified foods were
safe.



-
Hundreds of new
applications: from
improved medicine to
‘designer’ plants and
animals



-
Most common
genetically modified
food: soy beans



As usage of GM food
has increased,
people have become
concerned that
they’re…


Dangerous to health


Pollute environment


Hurt other organism


Encourage growth of
‘super pests’


Most GM crops are
engineered to
resist herbicides


allows farmers to
kill weeds without
killing crops


Over half the
people in the world
live in a place
where GM crops
are grown


Already have had many
instances of GM plants
interbreeding with
wild plants


Example: creeping
bentgrass
, modified for golf
courses, pollinated wild
grass


Most scientists believe
GM plants can
eventually breed into
wild plants


SOME SCIENTISTS ARGUE
GM…

OTHERS SAY…


Reduces use of insecticides
and herbicides



Enables no
-
till farming



Increases use of
herbicides


plants can
withstand them so farmers
apply more


Less pesticides


less
usage of tractors to
apply them


less
fuel used



No till farming


more carbon held
within the soil


In 2005, a GM crop research agency
estimated that using GM crops is
equivalent to taking 3.6 million cars
off the road


Definition: if the effects of a product are
unknown, then the product should not be
used until research proves it safe


Many scientists believe this should be
applied to GM Food


1. Economics: many long
-
term economic
benefits, few short
-
term benefits


2. Health: little evidence of harm to
humans, but noted that effects on
ecosystems should be tested


3. Biodiversity: found that a field of GM
beets supported less biodiversity than
fields of their non
-
GM counterparts


GM maize, however, supported more
biodiversity. GM winter oilseed rape had mixed
results.

GM Food Debate


People tend to think of food as natural


Ethics and morals make people oppose
“tinkering” with food


Food=Survival


People cant choose not to eat


GM dietary staples (corn, wheat, rice)


Forced to consume or take special efforts to
avoid



Lack of Control


Feelings of domination over one’s food supply


Most safety research funded by
Agrobiotech

companies (develop GM products).


Agrobiotech

corporations:


Monsanto


Syngenta


Bayer
CropScience


Dow


DuPont


BASF


Pollen from GM crops can migrate to
non GM fields


Monsanto holds patents that forbid
farmers from planting seed that has their
genes in it without a contract.


As of January 2005 Monsanto has filed 90 lawsuits
averaging $412,000.


North Dakota farmer Tom Wiley is quoted as
saying “Farmers are being sued for having GMOs
on their property that they did not buy, do not
want, and cannot sell.”


European Union


Banned import from 1998 to 2003 until sued by
USA


India and Brazil


Recently approved GM crops


China


Aggressively expanding the use of GMO


Zambia


During a 2002 drought refused food from the
USA because it contained GM corn.