Genetically Modified Food Good Or Bad

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In twenty-five different countries worldwide, approximately fourteen million farmers grow genetically modified crops Enrichment 1 Enrichment 2(Aldridge 5). Genetically engineered or modified crops, also known as GM crops or plants, are those that are modified by inserting genetic material in order to demonstrate a desired trait (Hauter 3). Genetic engineering of plants and animals takes place in order to improve the quality and quantity of food supply to consumers; however, researchers are unaware of any definite long term effects of genetically engineered food on animals, humans, and the environment at this time (Hoyle 1: Shah 6). Some researchers question whether genetically modified foods benefit or harm consumers, due to most of the testing …show more content…
Monsanto is one of the main plant genetic engineering companies and created genetically modified plants resistant to glyphosate, a herbicide also known as Roundup. Herbicides are known for killing crop plants and weeds; therefore, with the creation of herbicide resistant plants, herbicides can be sprayed on a field of genetically engineered crop plants, modified to be herbicide resistant, in order to kill weeds while the crops remain unaffected. The creation of herbicide resistant crop plants is a major landmark in the early development of genetically modified crops. Another significant development in genetically engineered plants was the introduction of a toxin gene called Bacillus Thuringiensis. It destroys the gut of many species of insect pests and has been used in the past as a spray for biological pest control. The transfer of the Bacillus Thuringiensis gene led to the development of genetically engineered potatoes, cotton, tomatoes, and other crops (Aldridge 4). Many genetically modified crops are used in animal feed that fuel factory farms (Lovera 2). Factory farming is also considered a method of genetically modifying food. Large numbers of factory farmed animals, including chickens and other livestock, are squeezed into one facility. They are given routine doses of antibiotics to help them survive their unsustainable and unhealthy living conditions. Factory …show more content…
A transgene is a gene that is transferred into a host crop plant in the process of genetic engineering (Aldridge 2). One of the main methods used to introduce a transgene into a crop is by using the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The soil bacterium “naturally infects plants, as a vector to carry the gene into plant cells.” The second main method for introducing a transgene into a plant is by using a gene gun to shoot DNA coated particles of the transgene into the cells of the crop plant (Aldridge 5). A gene gun is “a device that shoots tungsten or gold particles coated with DNA particles into plant cell tissue in genetic engineering experiments” (Aldridge 2). The cells that take over the transgene are identified by the presence of an antibiotic resistance marker gene. Then, the transformed cells are grown into genetically modified plants under controlled conditions. The crop plants that result from using a gene gun are tested for their characteristics, worked on, and monitored in small outdoor field trials before moving to a larger cultivation Enrichment 5 (Aldridge 5). Knowledge of DNA structure and the development of molecular biology has made it possible for scientists to accurately insert and remove specific genes in or out of the DNA of certain organisms, enabling the ability to better understand the genes that are in charge of

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