• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

GM Foods - Good or Bad?

Extracts from this document...


GM Foods - Good or Bad? Humans have been modifying their food for thousands of years. Until the 20th century, this had to be done by breeding desirable characteristics into crops. This method requires a lot of effort and is rather imprecise. Genetic modification has enabled us to add qualities to crops that no amount of traditional breeding could. But in the 1960s, scientists made huge breakthroughs in their understanding of genetics. Many recognised that this new knowledge had the potential to revolutionise food production, creating huge benefits for the world. GM food promises to provide enormous benefits. Many modified crops could boost prosperity in the developing world and provide new choices for consumers. But there are huge risks involved in tampering with nature's code. GM foods could have unpredictable effects on the environment and on our health. ...read more.


Currently the only apparent benefits from growing GM crops are to the farming and biotechnology industries. Nonetheless it is true to say that this technology does have the potential to produce foods that could be of great consumer benefits such as: Tomatoes with increased vitamin content, food (such as peanuts) with reduced of no allergenicity, potatoes with higher starch content (which absorbs less oil when cooking), wheat with increased levels of folic acid to prevent spina bifida, wheat with increased fibre to reduce the risks of colon cancer, and rice with increased pro-vitamin A content to help combat blindness in rice-dependent developing companies. While gene technology has the potential to generate healthier foods, it could also provide crops that are designed to survive in harsh climates, or on land that has been rendered useless by high salt or mineral levels. ...read more.


Only a small fraction of the plant cells targeted with the new gene will actually incorporate that gene, it is difficult to identify altered cells. To combat this problem an antibiotic resistance gene marker is used, many concerns have been expressed about the possible transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to gut micro organisms which could reduce the efficiency of antibiotics as a treatment. Genetically modified foods differ from normal conventional foods in that it contains or is produced from genetically modified organisms. GM foods are subjected to an extensive range of analytical tests for food safety evaluation. Such tests include composition analysis, allergenicity tests, toxicological analysis, nutritional evaluation and many more. In my opinion, GM foods cannot be classed as wholly beneficial or not, they come with both their advantages and disadvantages. It is simply up to the individual whether the choose to opt for this new-found technology, or to stick with conventional food. Kerry Phillips. 8th March 2005. 12.9 General Studies. 1 An Introduction to GM Foods. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Variation and Inheritance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Variation and Inheritance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Evaluating the risks and benefits of GM crops.

    4 star(s)

    10 Another risk is the long-term effects GM crops may have on the environment. The BMA stated in their report: The impact on genetic modification on agriculture, food, and health that they felt that too much emphasis was being made on making crops resistant to insecticides and pesticides rather than

  2. Food Policy at a Crossroads, A World of Plenty or a World of Famine ...

    instead, it will lead to more detrimental problems in the long run, such as "GM crops cross-pollinating with each other to produce "bastardized" strains and resistance to more than one herbicide"20 The major concern is that genetic engineering could permanently alter the ecosystem.

  1. Do the potential risks justify stopping the development of GM foods when they could ...

    Organic foods are generally not tested; if they become contaminated by GM crops we are not sure of their safety. It is perhaps considered unwise to continue with the development of such GM crops if putting a risk onto our organic foods too.

  2. What are GM foods? - Assessing the risks and benefits

    A particular gene of an organism can also be 'silenced', to prevent it from being expressed. Gene silencing was first used to create tomatoes with a higher solid content and longer shelf life by halting the natural evolution of an enzyme involved in the ripening process.

  1. What is population genetics and how is it put to practical use?

    Generation\Genotype AA Aa aa 1 157 56 5 2 156 58 4 Even though some of the assumptions are broken, infinite population size, mutation, migration and natural selection. These can be reasonably discounted due to a large population sampled anyway, the low mutation frequency in Humans, small amount of migration

  2. Genetically modified foods and farming

    About 35% of all organic produce on sale are grown here in the UK. The rest is imported from over seas. For example, Bananas. Organic farming s thought to be more natural and healthier but not necessarily better. However it does improve the environmental issues.

  1. Genetic Modification - Good and Bad?

    One of the most documented benefits of GM crops is the ability to create a plant that has a gene that produces an insecticide; many scientists argue that modifying a crop to produce this resistance is a huge positive as it reduces the amount of insecticide sprayed in the environment,

  2. Selective Breeding

    traits, while in the wild there is any chance of a plant fertilising another plant so the possibilities are endless about the alleles. * It is useful as it means that there is more chance of the desired trait to be passed down as there is little genetic variation so it doesn?t get any other variation due to other alleles.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work