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Environmental and Consumer benefits of genetically modifying crops.

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Introduction

Environmental and Consumer benefits of genetically modifying crops. Genetically modifying crops involves isolating a single "desired" gene out of many thousands in the plants DNA (a plant cell can have up to 50,000 genes in it), extracting this gene and in its place inserting a gene from another organism that carries the trait or characteristic wanted for the crop to carry. Every gene gives the plant a certain characteristic and by changing these genes, scientists are able to change things in the plant. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology, and the resulting organism is said to be "genetically modified," "genetically engineered," or "transgenic." Locating the desired genes for important traits such as insect resistance or growth hormone is one of the most limiting steps in the process. There are many debates about genetically modified crops. Although these crops could be the key to starvation in some parts of the world and cure diseases, many people disagree with them on moral or religious grounds. ...read more.

Middle

The crops could also be modified so they have a resistance to disease or weeds. The benefits to the consumer are that the food could contain higher levels of protein; lower levels of fat or vitamins and minerals that are not naturally produced in the plant could be introduced. The crops could also be made so they last longer without starting to decay or rot and toxins or poisons present in plants could be removed. Another major benefit to the consumer is that the taste of the crop could be improved or changed. The time that it takes for the crop to mature could be altered, making foods available all year round as opposed to just certain times of the year. Another major benefit of GM crops would be to make the fruit of the plant bigger to give the plat a higher yield. This would mean that the farmer would have more food and this would lead to cheaper prices for the consumer. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also diseases could be transferred from one animal to another with devastating effects. If the method of reproduction among the plants was to be tampered with, the plant may not be able to reproduce anymore. If this genetically modified strand of the plant bred with a 'normal' plant then this defect or mutation could be passed on and the whole species of plant could be in danger of extinction. There are bound to be unsuccessful tests and trials carried out when experiments go wrong. If these plants were to get out into the wild then there could be a disaster. This is where the scientists could slip up and if they do, there is no way to take it back. I think that these benefits show that genetically modifying crops can make bigger, more nutritional, disease and weather resistant crops, which can benefit everyone but the dangers are there because the scientists are delving in to the unknown and it is not certain what the consequences of these actions will have. ...read more.

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