Nov 25 2011
Genetically Modified Food: Panacea or Poison
Genetic modified foods can have its negative effects, such as not knowing what the long term health effects might be, but it is beneficial to humans as it produces a better quality and quantity of food that could possibly end starvation. It also gives the possibility to save some trees and help the environment. The way genetic modified foods products are produced are by genetic engineering, “… a radical technology that allows us to take bits of DNA and genetic traits form insects, bacteria, viruses, even humans and bring those into our food products” (05:52). In BIO1162, the textbook covers this in chapter 26, pg526, where it explains that biologist might want to clone the genes and then use them to alter its genetic traits, for a number of reasons including the use of the gene to alter the phenotypes of other organisms in a way that’s beneficial to us, for example making a tomato bigger. I found this interesting as it’s hard to imagine that by taking parts of a DNA of things like insects and bacteria into our food supply, the quality of that food can increase. This information is significant as it explains what the process of genetic engineering is, and how it is involved in our life. Bacillus thuringiensis, “…better known as B.T, is a natural occluding bacterium that can be found in most natural soil samples. Organic farmers have used it for years as an insect spray because when B.T exists outside the plant it is soon broken down by the sun and it’s known to be harmless to humans” (08:08). This arouses the idea that what if the BT gets into the plant, because BT is toxic and corn becomes extremely deadly for insects, what effect does it cause in us? Chapter 26 also covers transgenic plants; it states that plants are also being engineered to produce human proteins, such as hormones, clotting factors and antibodies, in their...