Genetic Modification of Foods

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Genetic Modification of Foods

Vivian Pua
222652
Class M3

Research Paper
2013

Statement of authorship

I certify that this research paper is my own work and contains materials which has been accepted for the award of any degree or diploma in any institute, college or university. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge and belief, it contains no material previously published or written by another person, except where due reference is made in the text of the research paper.|

Signed _________________________________________________

Date ___________________________________________________

Table of Contents

Introduction4
Overview4
History4
Positive aspects of genetically modified of foods6
Resistance to Pests6
Resistance to Herbicides6
Nutritional improvement7
Resistance to Cold7
Pharmaceuticals8
Increased Animal Productivity8
Environmental Conservation9
Negative aspects of genetic modification9
Environmental hazards9
Human health risks10
Economic concerns11
Conclusion12
References14

Introduction
Overview
Currently, Genetic Modification (GM) of foods has become a major global issue that must be addressed. European environmental organizations and public interest groups have been fighting against GM foods. Studies that were carried out on the effects of genetically modified corn pollen grains on the monarch butterfly caterpillars led to several controversial debates among the US nationals. Genetically modified foods are generated from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) particularly plant materials. Genetic modification entails unique technologies that interfere with the genetic makeup of an organism. The genes from different plants are usually combined using the DNA recombinant technology leading to the emergence of genetically modified organisms (Hayes & Laudan, 2009). The main aim of genetic modification is the production of products that have desirable characteristics in terms of height, color, and nutrition, just to mention a few. Genes are the cells that make up the plant or animal. The products that can undergo genetic modification include medicine, vaccines, plants like Soya, corn, cotton, wheat, sugar beet, walnuts, potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco, sweet pepper and animal feeds. History

Genetically modified foods first hit the market in the 1960s; however, between 1994 and 1996, these products were commercialized. In 1967, a potato variety called the Lanape potato was introduced. The potato was very huge in size making it suitable for the making of the potato chips. After two years, the Lanape potato became toxic. Due to this, the United Department of Agriculture (USDA) had to remove it from the market. The development of the toxins in the Lenape potato was a clear indicator that genetically modified foods might lead to adverse effects to the users. Although the issue of toxin reduction in the production of genetically modified foods has been addressed, it is evident that not all genetically produced foods are properly tested and examined before supplying to the market. In 1979, scientists from the University of Cornell in New York came up with a hormone used in dairy cows to increase the quantity of milk production. In 1980s, researchers from Germany, Belgium and the United States introduced plant genes that induced various traits in plants, for instance slowing down ripening in tomatoes. There were various advancements in the production of genetically modified foods between 1983 and 1989. This made the US to approve the use of high milk production hormones in cattle. The first genetically modified products were availed to the public in 1990s, where Monsanto introduced the New Leaf potato in the late 1990s with the approval of public use of Flavr Savr Tomato in 1994 (Freedman, 2009). In Scotland the birth of Dolly, the cloned sheep took place in 1996 leading to the emergence of a global debate on cloning. At the age of six,...
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