Skip Nav

The Truth about Genetically Modified Food


❶None of those studies found any special risks from GM crops. The people, who approve GM products, admit that they have enhanced quality and taste.

Benefits and worries

You are here
A clean record
Client testimonials

However, it caused a potentially fatal illness called Eosinophilia Myolgia Syndrome in which 37 people died and more were permanently disabled Background on L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxy L-tryptophan and the eosinophilia myalgia syndrome, U.

Therefore, it was taken off the market shortly after the reports of widespread illness among consumers of the supplement. Superbugs are created when genes transfer from one species to another, and if an antibiotic-resistant or pesticide-resistant gene were to transfer from an organism into a disease creating bacteria, then an antibiotic-resistant or pesticide-resistant bug would be created Miller This applies to bacteria and viruses that are symbiotically related. Gene modification is indirectly making life resistant to diseases, and these bacteria and viruses will adapt to the new form of life and create new disorders.

This is because pests will soon develop resistance to the spray because of the widespread planting of GM crops. Nevertheless, superbug pesticides have not yet been manufactured, nor have superbug antibiotics been created Miller Consequently, the health risks for humans through superbug infections or by eating GM food is very serious, and the consequences that may come about have the potential to be life threatening.

Genetic engineering of food crops has the potential to affect the biodiversity of a region in effectively two ways. Since GM crops are produced to be resistant to pesticides and herbicides, there is the possibility that they could invade wild grasslands and other places and prosper because of these special characteristics.

If this happened, the native grasses would be unable to compete and biodiversity would be lost in these regions. Also, many genetically engineered crops contain anti-viral genes and there is the potential that these genes could combine to form new and dangerous strains of viruses, which could destroy specific crops.

Although, to date, there is no direct evidence of these occurring naturally, the potential is clearly increasing UK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition.

What is happening to Agricultural Biodiversity? The second way in which the biodiversity of a region is potentially affected is by the decreasing crop varieties that are being planted. This is a problem already existing in agriculture today, and results in a loss of genetic variety within crop cultures. Farmers being forced to use only patented seeds are an example of a potential decrease in biodiversity.

If traditional seed varieties are used, farmers will be at a financial disadvantage due to better tasting, better looking crops produced by farmers using GM seeds.

This will restrict the crops to a few species, leaving them more at risk to new pests that may form UK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition.

The debate over genetically modified GM food is a heated one. Few contest that we are working in somewhat murky waters when it comes to genetically modified anything, human or plant alike.

At issue, really, is the question of whether we are prepared to use the technologies we've discovered. In other words, are we the equivalent of a herd of monkeys armed with bazookas, unable to comprehend the sheer destructive power we possess yet perfectly capable of pulling the trigger? Or do we simply face the same type of daunting intellectual challenge as those who discovered fire, electricity, or even penicillin, at a time when the tools to fully understand how they worked had not yet been conceived of?

In all of those cases, we were able to probe, study, and learn the mysteries of these incredible discoveries over time. Sure, there were certainly costly mistakes along the way. But we were also able to make great use of them to advance civilization long before we fully understood how they worked at a scientific level. While the fundamentals of DNA have been well understood for decades, we are still in the process of uncovering many of the inner workings of what is arguably the single most advanced form of programming humans have ever encountered.

It is still very much a rapidly evolving science to this day. Two decades on, it's hardly ever spoken of. That's because the great majority of attempted disease therapies from genetic modification failed, with many resulting in terrible side effects and even death for the patients who underwent the treatments. Its use in the early days, of course, was limited almost exclusively to some of the world's most debilitating, genetically rooted diseases.

Still — whether in their zeal to use a fledgling tool to cure a dreadful malady or in selfish, hurried desire to be recognized among the pioneers of what they thought would be the very future of medicine — doctors chose to move forward at a dangerous pace with gene therapy.

In one famous case, and somewhat typical of the times, University of Pennsylvania physicians enrolled a sick year-old boy with a liver mutation into a trial for a gene therapy that was known to have resulted in the deaths of some of the monkeys it had just been tested on. Not one of science's prouder moments, to be sure. But could GM foods be following the same dangerous path? After all, the first GM foods made their way to market during the same time period.

The s saw large-scale genetic-science research and experimentation from agricultural companies, producing everything from antibiotic-resistant tobacco to pesticide-hardy corn. Modern GM foods include soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, and a number of squash and greens varieties, as well as products made from them. Over 15 million farms around the world are reported to have grown GM crops, and their popularity increases every year.

They've brought huge improvements in shelf life, pathogen and other stress resistance, and even added nutritional benefits. For instance, yellow rice — which was the first approved crop with an entirely new genetic pathway added artificially — provides beta-carotene to a large population of people around the world who otherwise struggle to find enough in their diets.

However, the race for horticulturalists to the genetic table in the past few decades — what could be described accurately as the transgenic generation of research — has by no means been our first experiment with the genetic manipulation of food. In fact, if anything, it is a more deliberate, well studied, and careful advance than those that came before it.

Some proponents of GMO foods are quick to point out that humans have been modifying foods at the genetic level since the dawn of agriculture itself. We crossbreed plants with each other to produce hybrids can I interest you in a boysenberry? And of course, we select our crops for breeding from those with the most desirable traits, effectively encouraging genetic mutations that would have otherwise resulted in natural failure, if not helped along by human hands.

Corn as we know it, for example, would never have survived in nature without our help in breeding it. Using that as a justification for genetic meddling, however, is like saying we know that NASCAR drivers don't need seatbelts because kids have been building soapbox racers without them for years. Nature, had the mix not been near ideal to begin with, would have prevented such crossbreeding.

Despite Hollywood's desires, one can't simply crossbreed a human and a fly, or even a bee and a mosquito, for that matter — their genetics are too different to naturally mix. And even if it did somehow occur, if it did not make for a hardier result, then natural selection would have quickly kicked in.

No, I am talking about real, scientific genetic mucking — the kind we imagined would result in the destruction of the world from giant killer tomatoes or man-eating cockroaches in our B-grade science-fiction films.

Enterprising agrarians have been blasting plants with radiation of all sorts ever since we started messing around with atomic science at the dawn of the 20 th century.

In the s, just when Einstein and Fermi were getting in their grooves, Dr. Lewis Stadler at the University of Missouri was busy blasting barley seeds with X-rays — research that would usher in a frenzy of mutation breeding to follow. With the advent of nuclear technology from the war effort, X-rays expanded into atomic radiation, with the use of gamma rays leading the pack.

They would not be classified as GM foods, in the sense that we did not use modern transgenic techniques to make them, but they are genetically altered nonetheless, to the same or greater degree than most modern GMO strains.

Unlike modern GM foods — which are often closely protected by patents and armies of lawyers to ensure the inventing companies reap maximum profits from their use — the overwhelming majority of the original generations of radiation-mutated plant varieties came out of academic and government sponsored research, and thus were provided free and clear for farmers to use without restriction. With the chemical revolution of the mid th century, radiation-based mutations were followed by the use of chemical agents like the methyl sulfate family of mutagens.

And after that, the crudest forms of organic genetic manipulation came into use, such as the uses of transposons, highly repetitive strands of DNA discovered in that can be used like biological duct tape to cover whole sections the genome.

Scientists have also learned that the only way to change the cells is to attach the enzymes to highly infectious viruses. The virus inserts itself into the cell, which incorporates the enzyme into the strands of DNA. The cell starts to copy the enzyme and at times the virus, thus infecting the DNA and changing the cells of the organism Genetic. This may sound exciting at first, but closer examination exposes that politics and money are taking priority over potential dangers.

Also, scientists have the ability to change the traits of organisms through a natural modification procedure. One way is through selective breeding, which has the same outcome as genetic engineering. In selective breeding the desired trait of the plant or animal is bred and hopefully passed into its offspring.

Another way to duplicate the genetic approach is through grafting, a process whereby the trunk or branches of a plant well suited for growing in a climate but vulnerable to pests and disease can be cut off.

Time and effort are the only drawbacks to these processes. In genetics there are countless side effects such as the use of highly infectious viruses and gene mutations leading to toxins or allergens.

Although high risks are taken by geneticists to achieve their goals, there are a few possible needs for GM foods. One is that the human population is growing at an astonishing rate. Therefore, the agriculture land once used for farming is now being developed in order to house the growing population. Genetically engineering crops and food comes into play when farmers can grow foods in less then ideal conditions and create crops with higher yields in less time.

Another factor is that scientists can create foods with longer shelf life. This means that they can be picked, shipped, and distributed without the worry of them spoiling before retail sale. One example of this is the Flavr Savr tomatoes created a few years ago. Scientists learned how to turn off the genes that created the rotting problem after the tomato is picked.

Instead they can be picked green, and then transported, allowing the tomatoes to ripen and stay ripe for up to 10 days — plenty of time for sale in any rural market Keynes. Pests and disease are one more reason that GM foods are produced. They have inserted a gene into most agriculture crops that produces its own pest control agent, eliminating the need for spraying.

The answers to these needs are not solved without the concern for the well being of the world.

Search form

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Genetically Modified Food Research Paper This sample Genetically Modified Food Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need help writing your assignment, please use our research paper writing service and buy a paper on any topic at affordable price.

Privacy FAQs

Genetically modified foods are known as the following: GMO (genetically modified organisms) Biotech foods; Pharm-crops; Recombinant DNA technology ; Polluted crops ; Frankenfoods ; GE, GMO, and GM are synonymous, and used interchangeably throughout this paper and the relevant literature.

About Our Ads

Tips on how to start a research paper on genetically modified food can assist the writer to develop an interesting paper. The first step is to choose a topic since a lot of information exists under genetically modified organisms. The topic should be specific for a more focused research. Jan 02,  · Research Paper on GM Foods Research Paper on GM Foods 37 Americans are killed and 5, left permanently disabled from a fatal blood disorder, after consuming a toxin produced by genetically modified food.

Cookie Info

Nevertheless, the technology to modify genes has surpassed its practicality. Genetically modified foods need to be removed from everyday agriculture because of the threat they pose to human health, the environment, and the impact on global economy. Genetically modified (GM) foods could produce new toxic substances, and/or allergens. - Genetically Modified Foods have quietly become second nature to the U.S, it may surprise you just how many foods you are eating that have genetically modified ingredient. Experts say 60% to 70% of processed foods on U.S grocery shelves have modified ingredient.