Study On Genetically Modified Organisms Biology Essay

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Genetically modified organism is a common controversial issue throughout the world, but has recently become a more seen issue in the united states specially in California were Prop 37 is on the ballet this year. The right to know, Prop 37 deals with the issue of labeling foods that have been genetically modified in some way or another. Genetically modified organisms that have had the DNA Inside them altered to have a greater yield more resistance to bugs and disease and weather conditions.

Since GMOs have come on the market people have discussed if foods containing engineered ingredients should be labeled or not. Some people believe it's a right to know such stated in the Prop 37. But some of the big company's like Monsanto that don't want their products have to be labeled because they feel like people that are uneducated consumers will just see that its GMO they won't buy it even though there might not be anything harmful or wrong with the product. The FDA has found no basis for concluding that bioengeninered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful way or uniform way, or that, as class, foods developed by biotechnology present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.

The Myths of GMOs come far and wide the supporters say that it is just an extension of natural breeding. They say that GM crops are no different from naturally bred crops, apart from the inserted foreign GM gene and its protein product this makes people confused. Because GM is completely different from the natural breeding, natural breeding can only take place between two of the same organism such as wheat with wheat not wheat with fish. The way the process works is known as tissue culture or cell culture, tissue from the plant that is to be genetically modified is placed in a culture. Millions of the tissues in the plant cells are subjected to the GM gene insertion process. These results in the GM genes being inserted into the DNA, the inserted DNA is intended to re-program the cells genetic makeup, making completely new properties on the cell. This process is done by using a gene gun, which shoots the GM gene into the plant cells; GM supporters often use the terminology relating to genetic modification incorrectly to blur the line between genetic modification and conventional breeding. For example, the claim that conventional plant breeders have been genetically modifying crops for centuries by selective breeding and that GM crops are no different is wrong. The term "genetic modification" is recognized in common usage and in national and international laws to refer to the use of recombinant DNA techniques to transfer genetic material between organisms in a way that would not take place naturally. GM Company's also say that they're product is more cost efficient for the farmers which is not the case and can have a very large range of spending for each farmer. How much each farmer has to pay is very complex but has to do with many of these conditions such as stability of the crop, climate, pest and disease prevalence, cost of weed management cost of seed availability of markets for the crop. "Perhaps the biggest issue raised by these results is how to explain the rapid adoption of GE crops when farm financial impacts appear to be mixed or even negative."

- J. Fernandez-Cornejo, W. D. McBride,

The adoption of bioengineered crops, US Department of Agriculture

GM crops are always promoted as a food source that can prevent world hunger and be a blessing to the world when in reality it doesn't create any larger yield than conventional growing. "If anyone tells you that GM is going to feed the world, tell them that it is not… To feed the world takes political and financial will." - Steve Smith, head of GM company Novartis Seeds UK (now Syngenta), public meeting on proposed local GM farm scale trial, Tittleshall, Norfolk, UK, 29 March 2000

Some say that GM crops are needed to help us to survive the challenges in the future. This is misleading because non GM breeding methods are more effective at creating crops with useful traits. People hear about super crops like flood tolerant, drought tolerant, and pest and disease tolerant crop, and think that they could save the world and create more food for people in need. What people don't know is that most of these crops have already been made though conventional growing techniques.

There have been many tests that have shown that GMOs can be harmful to the environment and cause problems in the body

"Feeding studies on laboratory and farm animals show that GM foods can be toxic or allergenic: Rats fed GM tomatoes developed stomach lesions (sores or ulcers). This tomato, Calgene's Flavr Savr, was the first commercialized GM food. Mice fed GM peas (not subsequently commercialized) engineered with an insecticidal protein from beans showed a strong, sustained immune reaction against the GM protein. Mice developed antibodies against the GM protein and an allergic-type inflammation response. Also, the mice fed on GM peas developed an immune reaction to chicken egg white protein. The findings showed that the GM insecticidal protein acted as a sensitizer, making the mice susceptible to developing immune reactions and allergies to normally non-allergenic foods. This is called immunological cross-priming.Mice fed GM soy showed disturbed liver, pancreas and testes function. The researchers found abnormally formed cell nuclei and nucleoli in liver cells, which indicates increased metabolism and potentially altered patterns of gene expression. Mice fed GM soy over their lifetime (24 months) showed more acute signs of ageing in the liver than the control group fed non-GM soy. Rabbits fed GM soy showed enzyme function disturbances in kidney and heart. Female rats fed GM soy showed changes in uterus and ovaries compared with controls fed

organic non-GM soy or a non-soy diet. Certain ill effects were found with organic soy as well as

GM soy, showing a need for investigation into the effects of soy-based diets (GM and non-GM)

on health." -

In 1973 was the first reported recombination of genetic material, so the technology is now almost 30 years old. In 1982 the FDA approved one of the first uses of genetic material in the production of insulin by bacteria. The bacteria used for this purpose is a strain of E. coli, a common organism into which the human insulin gene is inserted. The advantage of this technology is that the product matches human insulin exactly and it is cheaper to make.

In 1988 Canada was the first nation to field tests genetically modified food. The first crop they genetically modified was the canola plant. To lower prices and reduce the need for fertilizers they modified the genetic material, this also increased the yield. Corn, potatoes, and cotton were not modified until 1996 when commercial production started. To reduce issues of handling chemicals, preventing fruits from rotting as quickly as usual, and conferring insect resistance the primary focus of the research was on genetic modification involving locating genes that can produce the desired results. Computer programs that can match up genetic patterns with their protein products made a difficult process easier. In 1997 developers at Monsanto who created roundup and had produced the GM canola, is best known for their "roundup ready" soybean. Roundup ready soybeans help farmers get rid of weeds with roundup without killing the crop.

"Soybean crop yields would be lowered by the growth of weeds, or less desirable chemicals would need to be used to control competition by weeds today, 85% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are GM soybeans. As the graph (below) displays, starting with that 1997 introduction, GM crop production took off."- C:\Users\Ryan\Pictures\gmo2.jpg

This is a graph that displays the increased area of biotechnology crops from 1996 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2012 it has increased. "In 2003, countries that grew 99% of the global transgenic crops were: the United States (63%), Argentina (21%), Canada (6%), Brazil (4%), and China (4%), and South Africa (1%); see the graph below, listing the acreage in millions for the countries C:\Users\Ryan\Pictures\gmo3.jpgindicated. Although growth of this enterprise will eventually plateau in industrialized countries, it will increase for decades in developing countries."-

Christian scholars find conflict with the GMO issue because on one hand the bible says that we need to care for one another and be able to feed the hungry. At the same time though that the known risks of GMO foods could be harmful and it says in ecclesiastic about having a respect for humans. The Vatican has made a public statement on the GMO topic and since the Vatican rarely approves on scientific causes. The Vatican has not always had a good view with GMOs pope john paul ll advocated a precautionary principle where GMOs were concerned. In a message of world peace day Pope John Paul ll stated "[w]e can only look with deep concern at the enormous possibilities of biological research. We are not yet in a position to assess the biological disturbance that could result from indiscriminate genetic manipulation and from the unscrupulous development of new forms of plant and animal life, to say nothing of unacceptable experimentation regarding the origins of human life itself. It is evident that in any area as delicate as this, indifference to fundamental ethical norms, or their rejection, would lead humankind to the very threshold of self-destruction."

In the large debate whether GMOs are harmful or not, and if they should be labeled has been around for a while. The topic will probably not be solved for a long time. If prop 37 passes to make companies label GMO ingredients it will only be in California, then all the other states will have to create their own laws saying so or unless the FDA just makes them do it so it is regulated throughout the country. I personally feel that GMO's are not the way we need to go because the harmful side effects are more costly than the slight benefits that why can bring. I feel that conventional breeding is far more reliable and safer than the GM methods.