Genetically Modified Foods

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Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically Modified Foods


The development of the biological science of genetics began in the mid-1800s, when Gregor Mendel (1822-84) studied the characteristics of plants, and peas in particular, over several generations. His studies were followed by the development of hybrids by Luther Burbank through selective breeding. Between 1945 and 1965, the green revolution in agriculture greatly increased the world's food supply through the use of selective breeding of hybrid seeds, along with large quantities of pesticides and fertilizers. The ability to manipulate food products or flowers or other biological forms has given scientists powerful tools for creating insect- and disease-resistant strains of plants(Avise, 2004).

GM foods have been growing in number since their introduction in the 1990s. Genetic engineering changes the DNA of specific foods in ways that are more advanced than the long tradition of scientific breeding. The first GM foods on the market were commodities such as canola, corn, soybean, and cotton seeds, which are processed for vegetable oil. Other commodities that were modified included potatoes, rice, sugarcane, sweet corn, field corns, and other foods. These products are usually transgenic plants that possess at least one gene that has been transferred into it from different species. Transgenic seeds and plants are created in laboratories using recombinant DNA technology, in which plants to gain different characteristics by the artificial insertion of a gene from one species into another (Murray, 2003).

GM Foods Safety Concern

In food safety, the main concerns are the presence of toxic agents from pesticides, drug residues and additives in farmed animals and fish farms, and the use of chemicals in the process of storing, handling and marketing consumer products. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or GM can produce effects on human and animal health and represent a potential hazard to biodiverse countries. The large number ...
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