Genetic Engineering : Genetically Modified Foods Essay
Genetically modified foods refer to plants which are produced for both animal and human consumption through the use of modern molecular biology techniques. The plants have been changed in the laboratory to enhance the preferred features like better nutritional content or raise resistance to herbicides (Arvanitoyannis and Krystallis, 2005). The modification of the desired features has traditionally been carried out through breeding, but some of the breeding methods like conventional plant breeding consume a lot of time. Genetic engineering can modify plants which have exactly the desired features very fast and accurately.
Genetic engineering is accepted and a necessary practice in biotechnology. However, its use in crops has raised much controversy. Techniques for genetic alteration have increasingly advanced over the last century from a traditional selective breeding to injecting genes from one organism into another (Sanderson, 2007). The purpose of modifications in crops is to improve or correct certain defects and to make them more desirable to consumers as well as increasing productivity.
Nearly a third of food products that are used in European countries are “genetically modified organisms” GMOs. In the United States this figure reaches 60%. (Sanderson, 2007) Genetic engineering appeared in 1972 as a new direction in molecular biology. The commercial use of genetically modified plants began in 1996. Since that time, the acreage of transgenic…