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Arguments for and against GM crops.

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Ketan Singh GM crops 1. What is a GM crop? GM crops are genetically modified crops that have been genetically enhanced using modern biotechnology to carry one or more beneficial new traits. 1. What is the difference between GM and conventional plant breeding? Conventional plant breeding involves changing the genes of a plant so that a new and better variety is developed. New varieties of plants are bred to suit different climate conditions, improve taste or nutritional value, cope with disease or pests better, or to use water or nutrients more efficiently for example. Breeding using genetic modification (GM) also involves changing the genes of a plant so that a new and better variety is developed. It is done for the same reasons as conventional breeding. The key difference is that instead of randomly mixing genes, which occurs as a result of a sexual cross, a specific gene, which is associated with a desirable trait, is selected and inserted directly into the new plant variety. ...read more.


-Could benefit human health and this is related to health. This is because GM crops eradicate disease so it therefore does not create human health issues as they can repel viruses and fungi and are less toxic. -Could reduce pesticide and herbicide use and this is environmental, health, social/ economic/ political effects. This is because they have improved traits and therefore are resistant to viruses and fungi. They also increase the yield of crops and thus, do not require herbicides and so reduce costs. -Could help preserve natural habitats is environmental. This is because the efficiency gains from GM crops will place less pressure on wild or natural habitats and thereby help preserves biodiversity. In addition, Eutrophication is prevented as less fertiliser is used. The people against GM claim that: -There will not be enough to feed the world which is health and social/economic/political effects. This is because GM seeds are much more expensive than conventional seeds and therefore means the poor cannot afford them, and thus they cannot be fed. ...read more.


-It mainly benefits big biotech companies which are social/economical/ political effects. This is because they claim most of the profit for the GM seeds and these companies are also concentrating their efforts in high-volume crops, such as soybeans, corn, and cotton, and not in crops that might help feed the billions of people who live in poor countries. -It raises ethical conflicts over the control of food production which is social/ economical/ political effects. Examples of these are; 1. The possible monopolisation of the world food market by large multinational companies that control the distribution of GM seeds. 2. Using genes from animals in plant foods may pose ethical, philosophical or religious problems. For example, eating traces of genetic material from pork could be a problem for certain religious or cultural groups. 3. Animal welfare could be adversely affected. For example, cows given more potent GM growth hormones could suffer from health problems related to growth or metabolism. 4. New GM organisms could be patented so that 'life' itself could become commercial property through patenting. ...read more.

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