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Genetic Engineering in agriculture

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Introduction

Genetic Engineering in agriculture - Essay Introduction Genetic Engineering is the technical manipulation of an object from the natural world in a way in which it would provide a benefit to humans. Genetic engineering is also known as recombinant DNA technology which means changing the genes in a living organism to produce a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) with a new genotype. Various kinds of genetic modification are possible such as inserting a foreign gene from one species into another, forming a transgenic organism; altering an existing gene so that its product is changed; or changing gene expression so that it is translated more often or not at all [1]. Genetic engineering is also sometimes called bioengineering, genetic manipulation, gene technology and biotechnology i.e. the industrial use of biological processes. Why is genetic engineering used in agriculture? Genetic modification is used to grow crops in some parts of the world. ...read more.

Middle

When the bacterium is mixed with plant cells the agrobacterium duplicates the plasmid. This then transfers the new gene from the agrobacterium to the new gene into the chromosomal DNA of the plant cell therefore the transformed cells grow into the intact plant. When the plant cells divide each daughter cell receives the new gene therefore giving the whole plant a new trait [6]. What are the advantages and disadvantages? There are many advantages but not as much as disadvantages in using Genetic engineering in agriculture. Advantages are farmers overall would use less herbicides and pesticides, Herbicide tolerant GM crops allows them to withstand otherwise lethal doses of herbicides therefore the crops wont be affected by the herbicide, reduced fuel consumption, crops are virus tolerant, sustainable agriculture (50% chance), GE allows the creation of plants that produce vaccines, pharmaceuticals or enhanced pharmaceutical raw materials, it is a quicker, predictable way to produce food and food can last longer due to the modification. ...read more.

Conclusion

Impact of Genetic engineering in agriculture Genetically engineering in agriculture has many potential and real impacts on humans [7]. Most of the impacts are discussed on the advantage and disadvantage section. But there are some impacts that have not yet been seen. Many ethical impacts to humans have been seen with the lack of labelling, religious concerns and health hazards (not yet proven GM food is safe). What are the ethical issues? There are many ethical questions because of the lack of absolute certainty of such tests. The experiments may involve animals that are unacceptable to many people. Transferring animal genes into plants also raises important ethical issues for vegetarians as they would not know that the altered vegetables and fruits may have animal genes in them. Religious groups also have objections to the "tampering with the basic patterns of life that occur in most genetic engineering research [5]. Once a genetically modified organism has been released into the environment it can reproduce, or even mutate. The best sustainable, biodegradable bio plastic is wood. Most people would prefer to simply plant more trees. ...read more.

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