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Discuss the likely advantages and problems arising from the introduction of genetically modified agricultural crops

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Introduction

Charlotte Seaman. (General essay style). Discuss the likely advantages and problems arising from the introduction of genetically modified agricultural crops. Genetically Modified food (GM) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption, using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. Genetic engineering can create plants with the extract desired trait, both accurately and rapidly. For example frost can destroy sensitive seedlings, an antifreeze gene from cold water fish has been introduced to plants such as tobacco and potatoes, and with this anti freeze gene these plants are able to tolerate the cold temperatures that would normally kill unmodified seedlings. Crop losses from insect pests can be staggering resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing countries. ...read more.

Middle

Genetically modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world's hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yields and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. Environmental activists, religious organisations, public interest groups, professional associations and other government officials have all raised concerns about GM goods the three main categories ;- Environmental hazards, human health risks, and economic concerns. Some Christians object in principle to genetically modified food, as an unacceptable intervention in God's creation violating barriers in the natural world. Others see the potential for using God's gift of our technical skills, but with strong provisos, on matters of food safety and environmental risk. Christians believe that all of God's creatures are much more than their genes. Ethical problems may arise for certain types of gene, for example animal genes for a vegetarian or pig genes for a Jew or Muslim. ...read more.

Conclusion

In decades to come, with the expected substantial increase in the world population, mostly in the poorest, least developed countries, the demand for increased agricultural land and for water will greatly increase. The problem that has huge political and economic dimensions will not be solved by GM alone, or even by science alone -- but will certainly not be solved without the contribution of science, including GM. Food scientists and technologists can support the responsible introduction of GM techniques provided that issues of product safety, environmental concerns, ethics and information are satisfactorily addressed. So that the benefits that this technology can confer become available both to improve the quality of the food supply and to help feed the world's escalating population in the coming decades. As technology becomes even more advanced then GM will gradually become more accepted into society it will become a natural process in the years to come. ...read more.

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