Genetically Modified Foods And Its Bad Effects

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Genetically Modified foods and its bad effects

People in the scientific field have been studying and creating different types of genetically modified foods for several years. Though the main goal at first was to create crops that would cut down on the toxins used to control weeds and insects, scientists are now finding new ways to improve the foods we eat. They do this by using new technology to take genes from one organism and plant them into another to improve not only the nutritional make up but also how long the crops will stay fresh.

The only problem is that when you cross genes there are bound to be setbacks. Some of the crops have turned out to be very successful while others have been banned from markets. As scientists continue to alter the genetic make-up of different crops, the constant debate between those for and those against genetically modified foods increases.

Below are many examples of genetically modified foods. Each process uses a slightly different technique to achieve the goals that the scientists have for the crop or product. Some use genes from different crops to increase the amount of protein while others reverse genes that are already in the plant to improve how it tastes, looks, and even increase it shelf life. They have also come up with drugs to improve food production. One of them improves the quality of pigs and the other increase the amount of milk cows produce.

The first genetically modified food to reach stores was the Flavr Savr tomato (other than Monsanto's rBST which is really a veterinary drug). It was made with an “anti-sense” gene that slows down the biological process in which a tomato ripens and eventually rots. This is done by adding an extra strand of DNA, which is reversed to block the aging process. This allows the tomato to stay on the vine longer and at the same time it keeps it firm enough to ship.

Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans are another example of genetically modified foods. They were made to increase the tolerance plants have to Roundup. Roundup uses glyphosate to slow down or stop the enzyme called EPSPS, which in turn disrupts the amino acid biosynthesis. This process was intended to kill weeds, but it also damages the crops. With the Roundup Ready soybeans Monsanto used bacteria from Pseudomonas (spp) and klebsilla pneumonia (Hinchee) to produce more EPSPS in the plant.

The increase of this enzyme counteracts the damage done by glyphosate. The first trials for the soybeans were done in 1989 and 1990. They showed the plants having extreme tolerance to the Roundup, which increased the amount of crops produced. Monsanto scientists showed data stating that the new Roundup ready soybeans were equivalent to conventional soybeans in nutritional value. Later they also produced Roundup ready maize, canola, oilseed, sugar beet, tobacco, and cotton.

The very first genetically modified product to be used in food production was recombinant bovine somatotropin or rBST. It is used to increase the amount of ...
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