Essays academic service


A discussion of the benefits of genetically modified organisms

Genetically Modified Organisms are being created and grown across the globe. Genetic modification occurs when the DNA of one living thing is added into the DNA of another so that a 'desirable' trait becomes part of the new, modified, organism.

These modifications can alter or introduce particular traits in the organism. For example, a corn plant can be bred to resist herbicides that will kill the weeds growing around it that would compete for nutrients and light.

In this module, we'll discuss the most frequently modified crops in the United States, the kind of modifications that are done, and we will explore the debate around potential risks and benefits to humans and the environment as a result of GMOs. Learning Objectives By the end of this module, students will be able to: Understand the historical context of GMOs. Have an understanding on the development of GMOs to date.

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms are organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is the modification of an organism's phenotype by altering its genetic make-up.

Genetic engineering is primarily performed by simple mating or gene recombination. A latter section in this module elaborates further on how genetically modified crops are created. GMOs range from micro-organisms like yeast and bacteria to insects, plants, fish and mammals. Genetically modified crops GM crops are those engineered to introduce a new trait into the species. Purposes of GM crops generally include resistance to certain pests, diseases, or environmental conditions, or resistance to chemical treatments e.

Other purposed of genetic modification of crops is to enhance its nutritional value, as seen in the case of golden rice. The use of GM crops is widely debated. At the moment there is no known harm in consuming genetically modified foods.

GM foods are developed — and marketed — because there is some perceived advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit in terms of durability or nutritional value or both.

GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on a discussion of the benefits of genetically modified organisms health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.

History of GMOs Additionally, with a discussion of the benefits of genetically modified organisms production of golden rice, scientists have genetically modified food to increase its nutrient value for the first time. Consequently, finding unbiased sources is challenging. As seen later in this module, there are various risks and benefits to using genetically modified crops on a large scale, and thus people on both sides of the GMO spectrum have valid points.

New research is coming out regularly on new and unknown facts related to the use of GMOs. Some of the latest articles about GMOs in the news are provided in the table below. As with any news item, their content should be read with a healthy dose of skepticism. News Article Description Glowing plant project on Kickstarter sparks debate about regulation of DNA modification This article from the Washington Post talks about a recent project working on creating plants that glow in the dark after genetic modification.

GMOs versus Overuse of Antibiotics: Which is the Greater Evil? This article in Forbes addresses the push by the anti-GMO people to label genetically modified foods as GMOs, and compares the alleged risks of using GM foods to antibiotic resistance.

Introduction

Warning labels for safe stuff: One way or another, labelling of GM food may be coming to America This article discusses Initiative 522, a measure currently before voters which would require most foodstuffs sold in retail outlets to bear a conspicuous label if they contain genetically modified ingredients. The rule would come into force in July 2015 for any product where GM ingredients are more than 0. How are organisms genetically modified? Genetic engineering is the modification of an organism's phenotype by manipulating its genetic material.

  • Furthermore, this discussion should test the proposition that GM crops are the best means of agricultural intensification compared with other agricultural technologies;
  • How can agroecosystems be designed to improve the quality of ecological services, decrease the loss of biodiversity due to agriculture, and increase sustainability?
  • Genetically modified crops and the agroecosystem;
  • There are many studies that examine the potential environmental and ecological risks of GMOs;
  • While biotechnology could be used to produce large social and ecological benefits, most GM crops developed to date have been designed to benefit agrobusiness while exposing people and ecosystems to substantial risks;
  • However, the Food and Drug Administration concluded there is little scientific evidence to reliably back this claim.

Some genetic engineering uses the principle of recombination. Recombination is the process through which a new gene is inserted into a bacterial DNA "The plasmid".

Genetically modified organisms: do the benefits outweigh the risks?

The DNA needs to be cut with an enzyme called a restriction enzyme. The restriction enzyme used must have a specific shape that allows it to move along the DNA that is to be cut. When the restriction enzyme cuts, it leaves a "Sticky end" which helps a new gene to attach at that point. Genetically engineered bacterium is cultured and many new copies of the bacteria with the a discussion of the benefits of genetically modified organisms gene are grown.

Genetic modifications can be made to both plants and animals. The video below illustrates the mechanism of recombination. Agrobacterium is bacteria that uses a Horizontal gene transfer HGT. A genome is the complete set of genetic material present in an organism]. HGT can occur in bacteria through transformation, conjugation and Transduction. However, it is also possible for HGT to occur between eukaryotes and bacteria though the mechanism for this transfer is not well understood.

Bacteria have three ways of transferring bacteria between cells: The uptake and incorporation of external DNA into the cell thereby resulting in the alteration of the genome Conjugation: The exchange of genetic material through cell-to-cell contact of two bacterial cells.

A strand of plasmid DNA is transferred to the recipient cell and the donor cell then synthesis DNA to replace the strand that was transferred to the recipient cell. A segment of bacterial DNA is carried from one bacterial cell to another by a bacteriophage. The bacteriophage infects a bacterial cell and takes up bacterial DNA.

When this phage infects another cell, it transfers the bacterial DNA to the new cell. The bacteria can then become a part of the new host cell. Agrobacterium also has the ability to transfer DNA between itself and plants and is therefore commonly used in genetic engineering. The process of using Agrobacterium for genetic engineering is illustrated in the diagram below.

Summary of process illustrated in the diagram above: The agrobacterium cell contains a bacterial chromosome and a Tumor inducing plasmid- "Ti Plasmid". The Ti plasmid is removed from the agrobacterium cell and a restriction enzyme cleaves the T-DNA restriction site. The modified plasmid is then reinserted in the agrobacterium and the bacterium inserts the TDNA, which now carries a foreign gene into the plant cell.

  1. Taxes on the use of GM crops could function as a type of social insurance, as long as such a tax was invested in ecological conservation and restoration, to mitigate against any disruption caused by GM crops.
  2. The transition to agricultural sustainability.
  3. Large areas of cropland in the developing world have become salinized due to unsustainable irrigation practices. Skepticism over claims by regulatory agencies, corporations, and scientists that a new technology is safe is not surprising due to the many occasions when similar assurances have been proven wrong Economic and Social Research Council 1999.
  4. If accepted for publication, your response will be hyperlinked to the article. Agrobacterium is bacteria that uses a Horizontal gene transfer HGT.
  5. Special Briefing Number 5. Public Health at Risk Populism is dangerous and puts public health and the economy at risk.

The plant cell is then cultured and results in a new plant that has the foreign DNA trait. The following video illustrates the process of using Agrobacterium for genetic engineering. Some crops, like rice, are modified to create a potential health benefit for its consumers especially in developing countries. Vitamin A is often added to the rice, creating vitamin-rich "Golden Rice," which adds vitamin A into the diet of populations that consume rice.

Potential Benefits of Genetically Modified Food

The most common types of genetic modifications in the United States strive to improve the quantity and quality of agricultural production. These modifications are the most frequent and significant.

  • The approval process of GMO crops into mainstream consumption requires a number of testing and the ability to pass multiple criteria to ensure safety;
  • In this module, we'll discuss the most frequently modified crops in the United States, the kind of modifications that are done, and we will explore the debate around potential risks and benefits to humans and the environment as a result of GMOs;
  • May 1999 even suggests that concerns over GM crops in the UK can be classified into three types based on past failures;
  • Those who are pro-GMO claim that GMOs are not only safe for us and the environment, but also potentially, a very beneficial development;
  • However, due to the unknown and variable nature of risks, private insurance is virtually impossible, which forces the public to play this role;
  • It also increased yields as well as profits and health benefits for farmers who often applied pesticides without protective clothing.

These common and controversial modifications target a crop's tolerance to herbicides and generate pest resistance or a repellant. For example, there is more that can be said about the whole "quantity and quality" purposes regarding resistance to pesticides. This chart is useful to help us visualize the difference in prevalence of GMO crops among certain countries. The United States clearly has the most GMOs worldwide, but what's more interesting is the prevalence throughout the rest of the Americas.

Those who are pro-GMO claim that GMOs are not only safe for us and the environment, but also potentially, a very beneficial development. Those who are anti-GMO argue that the risk of negative consequences to our environment is high and very difficult to predict.

It is important to determine the magnitude of potential damage to our environment due to the spread of GMO genes into wild plants and microbes. GM crops can cause short and long term effects on the environment. Different kinds of modifications are being bred into crops. The most common kinds of modification include: Other, more superficial, changes can be made to crops we encounter regularly.

  • This global decrease in the amount and frequency of pesticide use means fewer instances of pesticide spraying reduces the use of fuel and consequently reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Genetically modified organisms at the crossroads;
  • The existence of widespread public concern is an indicator of the failure of the existing system;
  • Publicly funded agricultural research should be broadened to address questions such as:

Some Potential Consequences to the Environment Include: By using such quantities of chemicals to control weeds in the crops, the weeds begin to develop their own resistance to the pesticides thus creating 'super weeds. Seed dispersal and pollen transfer caused by wind, animals, and farming equipment, contribute to gene transfer. There are many studies that examine the potential environmental and ecological risks of GMOs.

  1. Learning Objectives By the end of this module, students will be able to. Plants are being engineered to produce vaccines, proteins, and other pharmaceutical products.
  2. While some studies state GMOs have negative effects on allergies, other studies cite potential benefits to GM crops consumption for individuals with allergies.
  3. Gene transfer s can cause change in gene expression creating abnormal immune responses to perceived threats that were previously coded as harmless. However, the research and administration necessary to maintain this protocol will be expensive and must be further developed.
  4. The rule would come into force in July 2015 for any product where GM ingredients are more than 0.
  5. The United States clearly has the most GMOs worldwide, but what's more interesting is the prevalence throughout the rest of the Americas.

Phifer discuss some of the existing studies and literature regarding these potential risks. These studies suggest that there is a heightened risk for hybridization among GMO crops. This undermines any control scientists have over GMO crops and leads to the evolution of weed species that carry the genetic modification like pesticide resistance.

The benefits and risks of genetically modified organisms

While there is some widely accepted evidence for these negative impacts against the environment and a lack of evidence proving otherwise—there are compelling statistics concerning potential benefits to the environment. Brookes and Barfoot note a global trend toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions since GMO use has increased. They explain that pest-resistance and repellant traits that are bred into the crop's DNA lead to a reduced necessity for the use of pesticides and insecticides.

This global decrease in the amount and frequency of pesticide use means fewer instances of pesticide spraying reduces the use of fuel and consequently reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

For such a complicated topic, one thing remains clear: Risks and Benefits Research studies present conflicting arguments as to whether consuming GM crops is beneficial or harmful to human health. With every alleged GMO health risk, there are counterarguments either opposing health risk claims or suggesting GMOs provide more benefits than harm. However, studies also show GM crops have benefits including the increased nutritional value in foods.

However, it is still very paragraph-dense. Can probably cut some info out also. Barber Rodriguez and Salcedo 2008 are only some researches that have looked into the allergenic properties GM crops have and their impact on human health.

Researchers outline multiple ways for an individual to develop allergies from consuming GM crops.