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GM foods - Harmful or Helpful

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Page Number Page Title 1 Title Page 2 Contents 3 Introduction 4 What are GM foods? 5 Process of Genetic Modification. 6 Advantages of GM foods. 7 - 8 Disadvantages of GM foods. 9 Conclusion 10 - 11 Bibliography In this case study, my aim is to find out whether genetically modified (GM) foods are harmful or helpful. To support my case study I will structure it with different scientific theories and evidence I will gather this information from different sources and different types of sources. Some people think that GM foods are harmful due to the way they are artificially tampered with. Others believe that GM foods are helpful as they can prolong the life of some foods and make them taste better so they are beneficial to us. I will attempt to explore both beliefs thoroughly and end this case study with a satisfactory conclusion. GM stands for genetically modified; they are foods which have been artificially altered by scientists in laboratories. An example of a GM food is tomatoes they used to easily rot however they have been artificially modified to last longer, look redder and taste better.1 Genetic engineering techniques allow scientists to insert specific genes into animals and plants without the trial and error method used in selective breeding. This makes genetic engineering much quicker than the natural process of selective breeding.2 For example the geneticists can isolate the gene responsible for a beneficial trait in a plant, this gene is then placed in a different plant. ...read more.

Middle

In this section I am going to list the disadvantages of GM foods and see the amount of harm they can cause. This section will then help me come to a satisfactory conclusion. There are fears that GM crops could start to grow more vigorously than other crops and wild plants. It has also been said that GM plants could breed with other plants to produce a new 'weed' species which could be herbicide resistant. It has also been suggested that eating GM foods could cause health problems such as the development of harmful anti-biotic resistant microorganisms.8 British scientific researchers found that antibiotic-resistant marker genes are inserted with GM material in foods, which could cause people to become resistant to antibiotic medicines. The study was conducted at Newcastle University on seven human volunteers who, in the past, had their lower intestine removed and now use colostomy bags. After eating a burger containing GM soy, researchers compared their stools with 12 people with normal stomachs. They found "to their surprise" that "a relatively large proportion of genetically modified DNA survived the passage through the small bowel." None was found in people who had complete stomachs. To see if GM DNA might be transferred via bacteria to the intestine, they also took bacteria from stools in the colostomy bags and cultivated them. In three of the seven samples they found bacteria had taken up the herbicide-resistant gene from the GM food at a very low level. ...read more.

Conclusion

5 http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/schools/activities/gmfbio.htm I don't think this was a very reliable source because it is not well known and has probably not been peer - reviewed. However, I think the information on the site made sense and was backed up by other websites. 6 http://arabidopsis.info/students/anna/biolistics.html I don't think this was a very reliable source because it is not well known and has probably not been peer - reviewed. However, I think the information on the site made sense and was backed up by other websites. 7 http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php I don't think this was a very reliable source because it is not well known and has probably not been peer - reviewed. However, I think the information on the site made sense and was backed up by other websites. 8 http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Care%20and%20Health/Food%20Safety/Genetically.aspx I don't think this was a very reliable source because it is not well known and has probably not been peer - reviewed. However, I think the information on the site made sense and was backed up by other websites. 9 http://www.non-gmoreport.com/disadvantages_GM_food_health.php I don't think this is a reliable site however the information written on this site was taken from a very well respected and reliable media source, The Guardian. 10 GCSE Chemistry - Twenty First Century OCR - Andrew Hunt and Anna Grayson - Oxford - Page 76 - 77 I think this is an extremely reliable source as it is a textbook used to teach children. So, the information contained in the book would be carefully researched. The information in the textbook has to be reliable in order for those who are learning to learn accurately. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 11 ...read more.

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