Genetically Modified Organism It is also known as genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species. A GMO is a genetically modified organism (also called "genetically engineered"): a plant, animal, or microorganism that is created by means that overcome natural boundaries. Genetic engineering involves crossing species that could not breed in nature. For example, genes from a fish have been placed in strawberries and tomatoes. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant, animal or microorganism whose genetic code has been altered, subtracted, or added (either from the same species or a different species) in order to give it characteristics that it does not have naturally. Genetic engineering is a process whereby genes from one organism are moved into the genome of another organism. In the case of genetically engineered foods, genes from bacteria or other plants or organisms are moved into foods such as soybeans, corn, potatoes, and rice to provide herbicide-tolerance and/or insect resistance to the plants.
HISTORY The general principle of producing a GMO is to add new genetic material into an organism's genome. This is called genetic engineering and was made possible through the discovery of DNA and the creation of the first recombinant bacteria in 1973; an existing bacterium E. coli expressing an exogenicSalmonella gene. This led to concerns in the scientific community about potential risks from genetic engineering, which were thoroughly discussed at the Asilomar Conference. One of the main recommendations from this meeting was that government oversight of recombinant DNA research should be established until the technology was deemed safe.Herbert Boyer then founded the first company to use recombinant DNA technology, Genentech, and in 1978 the company announced creation of an E. coli strain producing the human protein insulin. In 1986, field tests of bacteria genetically engineered to protect plants from frost damage (ice-minus bacteria) at a small biotechnology company called Advanced Genetic Sciences of Oakland, California, were repeatedly delayed by opponents of biotechnology. In the same year, a proposed field test of a microbe genetically engineered for a pest resistance protein by Monsanto Company was dropped.
BIOLOGICAL PROCESS The use of genetically modified organisms has sparked significant controversy in many areas. Some groups or individuals see the generation and use of GMO as intolerable meddling with biological states or processes that have naturally evolved over long periods of time, while others are concerned about the limitations of modern science to fully comprehend all of the potential negative ramifications of genetic manipulation.
FOOD CHAIN The safety of GMOs in the food chain has been questioned by some environmental groups, with concerns such as the possibilities that GMOs could introduce new allergens into foods, or contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance. Although all studies published to date have shown no adverse health effects resulting from humans eating genetically modified foods, environmental groups still discourage consumption in many countries, claiming that GM foods are unnatural and therefore unsafe.Such concerns have led to the adoption of laws and regulations that require safety testing of any new organism produced for human consumption. GMOs' proponents note that because of the safety testing requirements imposed on GM foods, the risk of introducing a plant variety with a new allergens or toxin using genetic modification is much smaller than using traditional breeding processes. An example of an allergenic plant created using traditional breeding is the kiwi.One article calculated that the marketing of GM salmon could reduce the cost of salmon by half, thus increasing salmon consumption and preventing 1,400 deaths from heart attack a year in the United States.
4 examples of genetically modified crops Pesticide resistant rape plantsScientists have transferred a gene to the rape plant which enables the plant to resist a certain pesticide. When the farmer sprays his genetically modified rape crop with pesticides, he or she can destroy most of the pests without killing the rape plants. Advantages: The farmer can grow a larger crop because it is easier to fight pests. In some cases the farmer can use a more environmentally friendly crop spray. The farmer can also protect the environment by using less crop spray. Disadvantages: Genes from the genetically modified rape crop could be transferred to the pests. The pests then become resistant to the crop spray and the crop spraying becomes useless. Rape plants can pollinate weeds - for example navew which is found in rape fields. When rape plants pollinate the navew their genes are transferred. The navew then acquires pesticide resistance. Corn, soya beans and sugar cane have also been genetically modified by scientists so they are able to tolerate crop spray.
Insecticide sweet cornScientists have genetically modified sweet corn so that it produces a poison which kills harmful insects. This means the farmer no longer needs to fight insects with insecticides. The genetically modified corn is called Bt-corn, because the insect-killing gene in the plant comes from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. Advantages: The farmer no longer has to use insecticide to kill insects, so the surrounding environment is no longer exposed to large amounts of harmful insecticide. The farmer no longer needs to walk around with a drum of toxic spray wearing a mask and protective clothing. Disadvantages: This type of genetically modified corn will poison the insects over a longer period than the farmer who would spray the crops once or twice. In this way the insects can become accustomed (or resistant) to the poison. If that happens both crop spraying and the use of genetically modified Bt-corn become ineffective. A variety of insects are at risk of being killed. It might be predatory insects that eat the harmful ones or, perhaps attractive insects such as butterflies. In the USA, where Bt-corn is used a great deal there is much debate over the harmful effects of Bt-corn on the beautiful Monarch butterfly. Cotton and potatoes are other examples of plants that scientists have , genetically modified to produce insecticide.
Golden riceGolden rice is genetically modified rice that now contains a large amount of A-vitamins. Or more correctly, the rice contains the element beta-carotene which is converted in the body into Vitamin-A. So when you eat golden rice, you get more vitamin A. Beta-carotene gives carrots their orange colour and is the reason why genetically modified rice is golden. For the golden rice to make beta-carotene three new genes are implanted: two from daffodils and the third from a bacterium. Advantages: The rice can be considered a particular advantage to poor people in underdeveloped countries. They eat only an extremely limited diet lacking in the essential bodily vitamins. The consequences of this restricted diet causes many people to die or become blind. This is particularly true in areas of Asia, where most of the population live on rice from morning to evening. Disadvantages: Critics fear that poor people in underdeveloped countries are becoming too dependent on the rich western world. Usually, it is the large private companies in the West that have the means to develop genetically modified plants. By making the plants sterile these large companies can prevent farmers from growing plant-seed for the following year - forcing them to buy new rice from the companies. Some opposers of genetic modification see the "golden rice" as a method of making genetic engineering more widely accepted. Opponents fear that companies will go on to develop other genetically modified plants from which they can make a profit. A situation could develop where the large companies own the rights to all the good crops.
Long-lasting tomatoesLong-lasting, genetically modified tomatoes came on to the market in 1994 and were the first genetically modified food available to consumers. The genetically modified tomato produces less of the substance that causes tomatoes to rot, so remains firm and fresh for a long time. Advantages: Because the GM tomatoes can remain fresh longer they can be allowed to ripen in the sun before picking - resulting in a better tasting tomato. GM tomatoes can tolerate a lengthier transport time. This means that market gardens can avoid picking tomatoes while they are green in order that they will tolerate the transport. The producers also have the advantage that all the tomatoes can be harvested simultaneously. Disadvantages: Scientists today can genetically modify tomatoes without inserting genes for antibiotic resistance. However the first genetically modified tomatoes contained genes that made them resistant to antibiotics. Doctors and vets use antibiotics to fight infections. These genes spread to animals and people, doctors would have difficulties fighting infectious diseases. Strawberries, pineapples, sweet peppers and bananas have all been genetically modified by scientists to remain fresh for longer.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF GMO? Modified to make them more resistant to unfavorable conditions Produce higher yields Use less fertilizers Use lesser water Pest resistance Herbicide tolerance Increasing food supplies in co-relation with an increasing world population.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF GMO? Harmful to environment Harmful to humans Give rise to 'super weeds‘ 'Super weeds' dominate the fields and affect main crops Genes from the genetically modified food could be transferred to the pests which can make them become resistant to the pesticides and the pesticides become useless.
CONCLUSION As a college student and a person reclaiming towards an environmentalist I abhor using GMO products although I know that this technology is the answer for our growing population, I think this technology needs a lot of study or research to become fully human friendly product as I read information about GMO, it needs a lot of experimentation and studies due to the uses of materials that is harmful to human. An example of that is the plant alone that is insect repellant and don’t need pesticides so it means that in consuming the product its like were eating a pesticides and an insect repellant goods, we know how harmful these materials to us.