Solving Hunger Around The World Biology Essay

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After GM is introduced to the world, the scientist all over the world began to start their research on it and make the GM engineering into more mature and accurate. GM food is one of the solutions today to solve the hunger around the world but this particular solution created a great impact on health crisis. Today the technology to GM our daily food still not yet stable and mature, poor country like Zimbabwe cannot trust and do not want to be the genuine pig for testing GM food and rejected lots of food aid from USA that contain GMO food inside. GM crops not just pollute our Mother Nature law and regulation and also interrupt our daily life.

2.0 Introduction

In 2000 B.C. Egyptians know that food preserved by using vinegar can be stored for a long period of time. One of the greatest biotechnology breakthroughs in the ancient time is the mummification, Egyptians dehydrate the body of the corpse using salt and large amount of sodium carbonate to preserve the dead body, even until today the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of the mummies still can be identified. (Dr. Zeba F. Alam 2009) Smallpox, the world's most complex virus, with 185 pairs of DNA and in the smallpox virus has the ability to manipulate human immune system and "berserk" the system. In the late 18th century, the hazardous virus almost devastated humankind. Luckily, Edward Jenner saved the world with his vaccine (cowpox virus) which is used prevent and nullify the deadly smallpox virus. (Chris 2000) In the late 20th century human Insulin was produced by inserting human insulin RNA into a bacteria host as this rescues the diabetes patient who suffered from blood clotting. Finally in the 21st century of today, medical and bio-engineers have come to a whole new level, where genetic engineering which enables humans to change the DNA sequence of every living thing including microorganisms and viruses that can change certain characteristic. (Jones et al. 2007, 239) But in the 21st century today, humans have not yet grasp hold of the full knowledge of genetic engineering; we still cannot fully transgene any plants or animals yet. With that in mind, genetic engineering can be hazardous to our health, causing genetic pollution to the environment, and genetically control the growth of organisms.

3.0 Background

Tomato, the very first commercially grown genetically modified food is created by a California company in the early 1990s. It was genetically altered so that it took longer to decompose after being picked. Then in 1998, GM (Genetic Modified) potatoes, which modified with an insecticide gene, were toxic to rats in feeding trials as it state in Dr Arpad Pusztai's research report. In1999, pollen from GM oilseed rape, grown at Oxfordshire, was found at beehives 2.8 miles away. The research was carried out by the Britain's National Pollen Research Unit and critics said that they would only provide a very limited view of the potential long-term environmental impacts of the new technology. In 2004, commercial planting of GM maize for animal feed. But within weeks, the firm behind the product dropped its plans, saying that the local government restrictions on how the maize is grown would make it uneconomic. The decision was claimed as a victory by consumer and green lobby groups and the issue of GM crops largely fell off the local government's agenda.

3.1 Key terms

Bacillus thuringiensis 

is an insecticide with unusual properties that make it useful for pest control in certain situations. Bt is a naturally occurring bacterium common in soils throughout the world. Several strains can infect and kill insects.

Beta-carotene

is a type of pigment found in plants, especially carrots and colourful vegetables. The name beta-carotene is derived from the Latin name for carrot, and it gives yellow and orange fruits and vegetables their rich hues.

Deoxyribonucleic acid 

is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person's body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria.

Recombinant bovine growth hormone

is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that is marketed to dairy farmers to increase milk production in cows. It has been used in the United States since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993, but its use is not permitted in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries.

4.0 First Counter Argument

Golden rice, the rice that contains 35 micrograms of beta-carotene per gram, which appears to be golden yellow than normal pure white rice, is engineered by Swiss and German scientists. As the colour of beta-carotene changed the appearance of the rice and it is said that it will help human race to treat vision impairment, as vitamin A is good for our eyes, beside that it is designed to act as a supplement in micronutrients. (ScienceDaily, 2009) The world's major rice consuming continent is trying to introduce golden rice to poor countries in the Asia continent, but agricultural activists do not want the product to be sold in their country. This is because golden rice is still in the testing progress and it is not sold in the market yet. (Ng n.d) The European Union as the world's largest market for agriculture exports since that the Europe government against GMO (Genetic Modified Organism) food that the side effect may endanger the European citizen. Due to major discrepancy from the citizens against GM products, Therefore Africa refuses to accept the food aid offered from USA because the seed is not experimentally safe yet, beside that the Africans worry that their crops will be unable to sell abroad to Europe as the Europeans strongly resistance to GMO products. (Bowman 2003)

4.1 Second Counter Argument

Every single year about 25% harvests worldwide is destroyed by pests, therefore the Bt(Bacillus thuringiensis) genes concept corn crops are introduced to control the pests, the soil bacterium produces a solid protein that is toxic to the pest as the pest consumes the protein on the crop, the protein then converts into a hazardous toxic and kills the pests, as this will increase the production of the crops and impact the economy of poor countries. (GMO-Compass 2006) Since the plantation does not depend on pesticides, people may misunderstand it as organic plantation and may misjudge it as an organic certified farm. The crops bear fruits with transfer of pollen with oneself to other crops. But when GMO pollen is transferred to an organic plant, the organic plant will then mutate and it is no longer organic. So to be safe from GM mutation and to preserve organic plantation, farmers must plant their crops away from GMO crops as far as 4KM only then can it earn the "GM-free" certification and be declared as truly organic. The Agricultural and Food Research Council in UK found out that the Bt genes pollen can be found around 60m in radius of the GMO farm and can be accelerated further by wind support. Besides that, when large amount of crops planted with the toxic Bt genes, it may accelerate and evolve the pest resistance toward the toxin. (Jones et al. 2007, 241)

5.0 Transition

Genetic engineering is a generation breakthrough of science; nowadays people are able to genetically modify the virus and generate electricity in room temperature condition without burning any fuels or generate any toxic waste. The MIT University researchers have successfully developed a virus to generated battery cell with the same capacity and power performance as that of a normal battery. (Trafton 2009) We human should use genetic engineering to make our life better but not to change what the nature is, once the natural is endangered, we human and all other living organisms will suffer from food mutation crisis. Subsequently, Genetic Modified foods are still a fresh product to all consumers; the administration of health organisation of the country must take full precautions when assessing their safety for human consumption. It is compulsory that the food company must label its product whether it is GMO or a non-GMO product before it is commercialised and sold into the market. In December 2001 Australia and New Zealand GM foods are regulated by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards (FSANZ) Code under Standard 1.5.2 the new law that requires the food producers to label their products before placing it in the market, in order to assist consumers to purchase or avoid GMO products, depending on their own views and beliefs. (FoodStandards 2011)

6.0 First Argument

The Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Cde Joseph said that poor countries like Zimbabwe, will not accept genetic modified organisms food as he does not want Zimbabweans to become an experimental result for testing GM food. (Mdzungairi 2002). Beside that the Africans also refuse the food aid from USA as it is contaminated with GMO. It is so dangerous to accept GMO food as the some of the organisms contain certain genes that will activate under special conditions due to weather or pressure. When the genes are activated, the other genes will become inactive and will contradict the DNA act in inappropriate circumstances. (FAO 2003) Genetic Modified Food could be accidentally transferred to other organisms, and cause hazardous effects to the human body with allergies. According to Smith (2003), when rats were fed with engineered potatoes, the rats intensively produce precancerous cells in its digestive system. And their brain, liver, testicles and immune systems were damaged. If the GMO product was consumed by a human, more or less our digestive system will too suffer from Barrett's oesophagus and stomach or colorectal cancer.

6.1 Second Argument

Current biotechnologist use GMO to produce certain pharmaceuticals drugs. Since by using the knowledge of biotechnology, genes can be programmed to change the DNA sequence, the organisms will be produced the same way as the scientist designed it. Since the GMO was for the medically- industrial purpose, without proper care and precautions to ensure they are not exposed to nature as these plants could cross-pollinate with related species and contaminate the food chain of the nature. (GreenPeace 2011) Furthermore, in theory, transgenic organisms could mutate, their DNA might interchange and characteristics might change or deactivate from the parents and become new pathogens in the process. (Starr and McMillan 2005, 424) When this particular issue occurs it will become a new form of pollution, gene pollutions. Gene pollution will contaminate the natural organisms and jeopardize the biodiversity of the environment. (FAO 2003) The newly reproduced gene might differ from the natural crops or the genetic modified one as the transgenic reactions occur naturally. It is totally unpredictable and uncontrollable by human. (GreenPeace 2011) when the genetic pollution cannot be stop or prevented or the whole world will suffer from the genetically modified organisms and we all will be contaminated if it reaches to a higher level. What's even frightening is that genetic pollution may be passed on to future generations.

6.2 Third Argument

The world's leading genetic modified food industry, Monsanto based in United Sate introduces genetically engineered recombinant bovine-growth hormone rBGH to the world which enables the cow to produce more milk than they normally would. Large amount of problem is generated with this hormone, a cancer-accelerating hormone called IGF-1 is also being largely generated from originally 70% to 1000% through the injection of rBGH. IGF-1 is originally found in both species of milk, IGF-1 acts as a catalyst on cell growth and is in charge of the rapid growth of infants. When adult human consumes the GM hormone milk with IGF-1 it will accelerate the growth of cancerous cell. One of the terrifying realities is that "IGF-1 is neither destroyed in the pasteurization process nor during human digestion and is therefore biologically active in humans, being associated with breast, prostate, and colon cancers." (Ewall 2011) World famous ice cream industries like Häagen-Dazs and Baskin-Robbins continue to use rBGH in their products despite their cancerous effects. Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and all 27 nations of the European Union banned milk injection with rBGH hormone as this will greatly affect their people's health. (robbins 2010)

7.0 Conclution

In order to maintain the peace and harmony in the earth, environmental friendly plantations should be proposed and further genetic pollution should be prevented. Genetic engineering should be used in other industries such as bioengineering and biochemistry to form practical products, for example in recycling industries, by modifying certain genes in bacteria so it's bacteria is biodegradable plastic in a nontoxic way and without external energy consumption and zero carbon dioxide emission. Pilus energy is one of the clean energy out there that uses genetic modified bacteria to generate electricity using just biotic waste. (Henderson 2010) Instead of genetically modifying organisms into consumable products which are hazardous to health, the invention of genetic engineering should lead the world's technology into a greater pace and solve the energy crisis.

(1679 words)

References

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Food And Agriculture Organization of The Uniteed Nations: Weighing the GMO arguments: against. 2011. http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/focus/

2003/gmo8.htm

Food Standard Australia and New Zealand: Genetically modified (GM) foods. 2011. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/gmfoods/

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Jeffrey M. Smith . 2011. The Documented Health Risk: GM potatoes damaged rats. Accessed May 30, http://www.seedsofdeception.com/documentFiles/119.pdf

John Robbins. 2001. Is Your Favourite Ice Cream Made With Monsanto's Artificial Hormones? Accessed June 1, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-robbins/is-your-favorite-ice-crea_b_686629.html

Jones Mary, Fosbery Richard, Taylor Dennis and Gregory Jennifer. 2007. AS Level and A Level Biology Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge.

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newsid1030988162,81394,.shtml

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