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Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Advantages and disadvantages of Genetically modified foods?

Can anyone please help me with my research project. Any facts,figures and sources will be greatly appreciated. Your own opinions on the matter are also most welcome.

Thank you for your time

2 Answers

  • Aaron
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    lots of our food is genetically modified, particularly agricultural products. genetic modification has many benefits. scientists can insert genes that cause a plant to be resistant to drought, resistant to insects, resistant to diseases. they can also cause them to ripen at a certain time so they dont go bad on the way to the consumer. they can insert genes for brighter colors or added sweetness or larger, more nutritious fruits.

    there are even benefits beyond this. some of the worst diseases are rampant in African and developing areas. these are even diseases that we have found vaccines for, but the vaccines cannot easily be administered because of things like lack of refrigeration and high cost. One of the ways scientists are trying to get around this problem is by creating genetically modified plants that contain vaccines. can you imagine going to the doctor and he says just eat this apple and youll be resistant to measles, mumps, and ruebella? this is the future. we will have highly available and cost effective administration of vaccines to third world contries.

    There are also benefits of genetically modifying bacteria. Any diabetic who is reliant on insulin shots will agree with this. About 30 years ago the insulin that was desperately needed by diabetics was obtained from pigs. This porcine insulin caused some problems in people when their immune systems started to attack the foreign particles. this is no longer a problem because of the genetic modifications of the common bacteria E. coli. By placing human genes for insulin into the bacteria, a process known as transfection, they can induce that bacteria and all of its progeny to produce HUMAN insulin, which does not elicit an immune response from the patient. This was a huge step in medical biotechnology and the process has been applied to many other products, such as growth hormone.

    But it doesn't end there. Gen modified bacteria have been used to clean up oil spills and there are ideas of using them to help the environment by neutralizing harmful chemicals.

    Genitically modified rats and microbes are also used in research to determine the effects of certain genes and their products. For example, after inserting the genes for drug metabolizing enzymes into bacteria, researchers can determine what enzymes are used to detoxify drugs in patients and avoid life threatening interactions in the future. They can also replicate aspects of human molecular physiology within a bacteria to learn about how the body works on a molecular level.

    So you see the possibilities of biotechnology are far reaching and, being a very new technology, there will be more applications in the near future. I believe biotechnology will no doubt play a role in finding our future fuel source, possibly by using genetically modified microbes.

    One of the concerns with genetically modified foods is the spread of gen modified progeny to other areas. This could potentially throw off the natural homeostasis and disrupt the food chain. Biotechnologists are finding ways around this by making plants genetically inable to reproduce, so that the final crops in use cant spread and wreak havoc.

    There is also some concern about the safety of eating gen moded food. They say it could cause cancer or worsen some disease. The reasoning behind this is that the technology is so new we have had no long term studies to assess the latent effects of eating such foods.

    There have been no cases to date of harm from gen modified foods.

    Here is a link to a professor at my school who is currently researching transgenic lettuce to help diabetics.

    Source(s): Im a biotechnology student at UCF.
  • Bailey
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    The side effects of GM food are not yet published by an authority. Until we read a such certication MG food should not use for any purpose

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