Stop! GMO PREPARED AND SUBMITTED BY: ANGELICA S. LOPEZ BSED-I C
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES Disadvantages Environmental Impacts The creation of GMOs can lead to negative environmental impacts which might not be foreseeable when the GMO is created. For instance, an alteration to a certain plant might make it inedible or harmful to another organism such as an insect that relies on it for food. In some cases this can be a benefit, to protect the plant against pests, but it may also be a drawback if it harms organisms that are desirable or upsets the balance of the food chain. According to the Human Genome Project Information website, GMOs can result in unintended transfer of genes through cross-pollination, leading to unknown effects on other organisms. Health Another danger of GMOs is their potential to harm human health. Altering the genetic makeup of an organism could potentially introduce new allergenic properties to it. Some plants, such as peanuts, have powerful allergens that can kill humans. If a gene of a peanut were used to enhance a more common food crop, such as corn, it might introduce a similar allergen which could have a severe health impact. Economics Since GMOs have the potential to replace standard crops, the companies that produce them and the farmers who are able to use them stand to profit greatly. This could reduce the amount of competition between farmers and give the companies that create GMOs great power in the agricultural industry. Companies may even try to patent the genetic code of GMOs that they produce. This could create situations where a corporation essentially owns exclusive rights to produce and sell a certain organism. Technologically advanced countries would likely benefit the most economically from increasing GMO production. The Human Genome Project Information website states that GMOs may lead to increasing dependence on industrialized nations by developing countries. Ethics Critics of GMOs sometimes make arguments against genetic engineering on ethical grounds. For instance, some people feel it is unnatural or wrong to introduce the genes of animals into plants or from one plant to another, which may be likened to "playing God." In addition, animals used in genetic engineering procedures may be subjected to pain and stress. Advantages & Benefits Insect and Disease Resistance One of the most important benefits of GMOs is their potential for adding to the healthiness and natural resistances of organisms. GMOs can potentially be created that have greater resistance to insect infestation and plant diseases. For instance, a certain strain of corn might produce a large amount of food tonnage, but be susceptible to insects, while another might repel the insects but produce a low amount of raw food tonnage. If the insect resistance of the lower yield plant were combined with the higher yield plant, a new GMO could be made that provides a large amount of food and resistance to insects. Another benefit of increased plant resistance is that it has the potential to reduce the amount of chemicals used on plants to protect against insects and disease, which can reduce pollution introduces to the environment. Chemical Resistance Some plants are susceptible to being overrun or choked out by weeds that compete for the same nutrients. Another benefit of GMOs is the potential to increase the chemical resistance of food crops, allowing herbicides to be used that will harm any weeds, while leaving the desirable crop relatively unaffected. This, in turn, can increase crop yields. Nutrients GMOs are especially important for developing countries where simple nutrition is of utmost concern. GMOs provide a potential for increasing the nutritional value of plants. For example, a region might rely heavily on a certain crop such as rice or corn, which may not have all the various vitamins and minerals necessary for proper nutrition. A plant that normally offers little or no vitamin A might be combined with the genes of another plant that is high in vitamin A. GMOs can introduce new sources of essential nutrients which can fight health problems caused by nutrient deficiencies. Profitability The benefits of GMOs can have an additional affect of increasing the profitability of farming. Having plants that are better able to resist various maladies can increase crop yields while reducing the amount of money spent on efforts to protect the plants. According to Monsanto.com, farmers made an additional $10 billion in 2007 from planting GMOs, which is due to increased yields and reduced production costs.
How Are GMOs Made? Plasmids Of key importance in recombinant DNA technology is the use of plasmids. Plasmids are small, circular strands of DNA present in bacterial cells that are capable of self-replication. These properties, combined with the fact that they carry only a few genes, make plasmids easy to manipulate, and serve as the route to introducing new genes to other cells, according to Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences. Construction Constructing a plasmid that carries the gene you want to introduce into your organism is the first step in making a GMO. Plasmids are isolated and treated with restriction enzymes, which will cut the circular strands of DNA at known points. The new genes are then added to the cut plasmids, along with ligation enzymes, which close the plasmid ends and reform the DNA circle. The genetic sequence for many genes is now known and documented, and genes can be manufactured en masse in a process called the polymerase chain reaction or PCR. Selection and Transformation When constructing plasmids, they must also contain a marker gene, something that will enable you to identify and select the cells that have successfully obtained the newly constructed plasmids. Antibiotic resistance genes are common markers, ASU's School of Life Sciences says. Once you have introduced plasmids into the organism you wish to modify by a process called transformation, they are grown in a medium containing an antibiotic. Those cells that do not contain the plasmid will die, allowing you to isolate the cells that contain them. Uses In agriculture, GMOs are used to strengthen crops by making them more disease and drought resistant, and higher in nutrients and yields. Animals that have been genetically modified may have improved health and increased egg or dairy production, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. GMOs are also used in waste management, natural resource conservation and in the manufacture of environmentally friendly pest management products. In medicine, GMOs are used in the production of medications and vaccines. They also hold promise in future disease treatments in the forms of gene therapies. Controversies While use of GMOs offers many benefits, there are also a number of controversies surrounding them. At the forefront is safety; there is concern about introducing new products into the food chain that could produce new allergens and antibiotic resistance into the population. There is also the concern of cross pollination, resulting in modifying crops other than the intended ones. Currently, countries have differing requirements regarding the labeling of GMO foods. There is unease in the ethical and intellectual property realms as well.
Plant GMOs Plants are the most common GMO type in use today, and their modifications have been for a variety of purposes. GMO proponents claim that plants that have been modified to resist insect pests are good for the environment because they require fewer pesticides. Some plants have been modified to resist diseases that can seriously affect agricultural production, and GM farmers are quick to point out that this helps prevent food shortages and malnutrition in our over-populated world. The nutritional values of some crops have been enhanced by genetic modifications. Golden Rice, for instance, has been engineered to contain beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A.
Animal GMOs GMOs are less common, but they do exist. Mice are particularly prominent GMOs, and are used in many different areas of research. According to the Center for Genetics and Society, an actual industry has formed for the production of research mice that lack a particular set of genes. One company, Trans Genic Inc., stated in 2005 it could produce a thousand different strains of these so-called "knockout" mice in a year.
Yeast GMOs Yeast is another type of commonly used GMO. For instance, despite objections from the Wine Institute---an advocacy group for California wineries---wine made from yeast with genes added from an African yeast and O. oeni bacteria went on the market in 2007. The Saccharomycescerevisiae yeast was modified at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, to enhance the production of ethanol from biomass.
Conclusion: God created human to take care of His other creatures and not to harm. It is wonderful to live in a balance and natural environment as God designed it to be so. That’s why I don’t care about its advantages for we can still live without GMO! The motive is good but unpleasant for me. GMO’s can only give temporary solution to a problem as God said “wait patiently for the right time”. We haven’t know it might cause us a shorter life span.