Genetically modified organisms
If you have any doubts whatsoever about the subject of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), then I would suggest that you take a few minutes to read some information on the subject. This article will give you an in depth look at genetically modified organisms and their advantages and disadvantages. You may be asking what is so special about them, after all we see fruits and vegetables that are produced through genetic engineering all over the world. The truth is there are many advantages of genetically modified organisms. It is important to remember though that just because something is genetically altered doesn’t mean that it is necessarily going to be better for you. Take some time and digest this information before you make any decisions.
Some people wonder if genetically modified organisms are safe. The answer is yes and no. As the world learns more about the advantages and disadvantages of these types of organisms, it is also beginning to learn more about the possible concerns or risks that could occur. In the laboratory environment with these types of organisms the chances of cross pollination and off-site contamination is very low. It is also true that the strains typically used are very well designed, so cross-contamination would be very rare.
Genetically Modified Organisms definition
A genetically modified organism is simply any living organism whose genetic code has been changed with genetic engineering methods. It is a method that can be used to introduce desired traits or to manipulate an existing population. This form of genetic engineering involves the use of cells from one species into those of another, and is known as transgenic technology. The cells are grown in lab dishes and then inserted into the host organism. Because of the method’s long-standing controversy, many people do not know what genetically modified organisms are or how they might impact us.
Genetically modified crops
There are many things to consider when it comes to what are genetically modified crops. One of them is herbicide-tolerant. These are the ones that have been modified to have less of an ability to repel the herbicides used to control them. When weeds try to sprout around these modified plants, they are unable to grow.
Another thing to think about is genetically engineered foods. These are foods that have had some genes added to them. While many consumers are concerned about this, there have actually been some instances where consuming these organisms has actually been beneficial to consumers. Some studies have shown that in lab animals, consuming these modified organisms has helped them to live longer and resist disease.
Types of Genetically modified crops
So just what are GM crops capable of? Well, there are actually several, but there are two major types. There are insect-resistant GMOs, and herbicide-tolerant ones.
Insect-resistant GMOs and Herbicide-tolerant GMOs
The most commonly-grown GM crops are those designed to resist insects. This includes cotton, canola, alfalfa, soybeans, zucchini and others. However, the types that are most widely-grown and used are those that are insect-resistant. There are now even GM crops that are herbicide-tolerant. This means that they can be used on a much larger scale than their insect-resistant counterparts, and have potentially greater potential benefits as well.
Advantages of Genetically modified organisms
The advantages of genetically modified organisms ( GMOs) are not new. For more than thirty years the world has been engaged in an extensive debate on the pros and cons of GMOs.
1. Introduction of genetic qualities
One of the advantages of genetically modified organisms is that they can introduce useful genetic qualities into an area that has been lacking it. The crops are healthier, and some even have more nutritional value than traditional non-organic foods.
For example, farmers who have been growing crops for centuries with little or no improvement have been able to develop products that have very high yield yields. These high yield products were created by farmers by breeding their own plants rather than taking the time and expense to crossbreed animals. By introducing the appropriate genetic material from the crop to the soil, they were able to increase the yield and produce crops that have greater overall productivity. However, if another plant could be introduced that had the same or better productivity then it would not be so advantageous to farmer.
2. New markets for farmers
The introduction of GMOs has also opened up new markets for farmers. For example, with the introduction of insecticides laced with GMOs the planting of crops such as cotton has increased significantly. The increased use of insecticides has led to less crop damage resulting in lower costs for farmers. Some argue that the introduction of insecticides and other GMOs has actually lowered the quality of life for some insects but studies have shown otherwise.
3. Preserve plant life
Another advantage of GMOs is that they can help to preserve plant life. There have been many debates over whether or not genetically modified organisms are detrimental to plant life. Many proponents of GMOs claim that the introduction of foreign genes into a plant has led to the introduction of foreign genes that help the plant to adapt to its environment thus increasing overall plant life. This theory has not been proven correct however. GM crops avoid the use of insecticides. Since GM crops do not require the use of insecticides they pose less harm to the environment.
4. Increase production
One of the biggest benefits of genetically modified organisms is that it allows farmers to increase their production without any additional effort. The plants grow faster and more efficiently. GM crops has the ability to increase crop production. A simple change in a gene can yield crops that can bear more fruit or grow faster than their counterparts. In addition, because they are closely related to one another, farmers have fewer problems with cross-contamination.
Disadvantages of Genetically modified organisms
The disadvantages of genetically modified organisms are many. Genetically modified food contains genetically engineered material which may cause dangers to the consumer’s health. However, many are of the opinion that these are disadvantages of genetically modified organisms; some people claim that these are advantages.
1. Manipulation of natural genetic material
The most important disadvantage of GMOs is that it involves the manipulation of natural genetic material. This type of modification introduces inserting of genetic alteration into an organism. Genetically altered organisms therefore do not occur naturally; they are lab created genetic structures. They are not made up of DNA and other genetic building blocks of living organisms. This also means that the modified genes have no identity or life span. The modified genetic material simply exist as particles inside the laboratory dishes or cells and they cannot reproduce.
2. Introducing allergens into food
Secondly, genetic engineering introduces the risk of introducing allergens into food. There have been numerous reports of food allergy related to genetically modified organisms. These include corn, cotton, alfalfa, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, tomato, salmon and rice. If these genetically modified plants are eaten by humans they may produce symptoms similar to food allergies. Many who consume such products experience symptoms similar to those they experience when eating conventional plants.
3. Not appropriate for human consumption
Thirdly, some people feel that genetic engineering is not appropriate for human consumption. The ultimate aim of the technology is to modify plants for the purpose of increasing their production. It is not safe to eat organisms that you have not eaten or consumed for various reasons. Since the introduction of genetically altered organisms into the world’s food supply it has resulted in foods that are lower in nutrition and more prone to botulism, an agent that causes food poisoning.
4. Harmful changes to the host plant
We know that genetically modified organisms have the potential to cause great harm to man. Some of these organisms have the potential to render beneficial as well as harmful changes to the host plant. Plants can absorb and become contaminated with these altered genetic patterns. Plants can be modified to create super crops that can better withstand pest and disease; these crops will then be able to resist pests and disease.
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