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Genetically modified foods and farming

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Introduction

Genetically Modified Foods and Farming. Most of the crops grown in the United Kingdom originated from distant parts of the world. For example, Wheat first came from the Middle East over 3000 years ago and potatoes started in South Africa in the 16th century. Over time foods have been crossed to produce variety, improved and varied flavour and resistance to some diseases. By changing the crop slightly it has allowed farmers to farm in different conditions. More crop yield per hectare has therefore been produce because of fertilisers and herbicides which help gain the correct conditions for the crop allowing it to been grown all over the world. However this has reduced wildlife due to the removal of woodlands and hedgerows to make room for the crop. Over time the awareness and knowledge of the environment has grown and projects to maximise the yield but minimise the environment destruction have been put to test. This is called Integrated Crop Management (ICM). Some of the techniques currently used are: * Rotating the crop yield to avoid disease * Preserving the soil structure and creatures * Using the correct amount of fertilisers and nutrients * Diversity ...read more.

Middle

There are many different views on genetic modification as some people see it as a refined extension of traditional breeding but others see it as fundamentally new technology with unforeseen risks and serious consequences. Some of the more positive effects of this though are that it has brought important changes to healthcare, for example: * Drugs to reduce viruses * Production of insulin and blood clotting proteins * Animals emphysema could help cancer * Help cure Cystic Fibrosis, Huntingdon's disease and HIV/AIDS Genetically Modified Crops current developments are: Pest Resistance: Sometimes 25% of crops grown are lost through insect attack. That's enough crop to feed over 1 billion people. By using genetic modification crops have been helped to make them resistant. This then causes the insects to die but instead 12 million hectares of GM maize can be grown. Maize Maize genetically modified to Bt protein kills the produce Bt protein corn borer insects Disease Resistance: In Africa many crops such as sweet potato, cassava, papaya and squash were all attacked by disease but due to genetic modification 2/3 of the crops have been saved. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also an advantage when transporting them. Foods are also higher in vitamins and minerals because they contain higher nutrient levels. Golden rice has been developed in Zinch to improve Vitamin A, which is essential to reduce the risk of blindness and Dying prematurely. Soya and Maize have also been modified to enhance the amount of protein in animal foods. It is also essential to stop malnutrition. Some examples of crops that have been developed are: * Maize * Soya * Beans * Oilseed rape * Peanuts * Tomatoes * Wheat * Bananas A question that many people ask is "Are they safe?" Before any of the products are sold they are thoroughly assessed however not enough about it is known to guarantee that there are no unforeseen risks or problems. But only the gene for the trait required is used so therefore no problems should arise. In 1996 GM Soya was first grown in USA and no sustained case of harm arising from consumption has ever arisen. Therefore GM foods are classed just as safe as any other foods. Overall Genetically Modified Crops are seen as a way up in scientific developments and good care and precision is taken to ensure the best safety of the environment and customers. Hanniah Brooks 11R ...read more.

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