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Research Paper - Israel 1 Alexander Israel 8375792...

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Israel 1 Alexander Israel 8375792 Anthropology 141 Research Paper Biotechnology (BT)/Genetic Engineering (GE) and its Consequences in Mexico Biotechnology (BT) is a new and rapidly expanding advancement in the agricultural arena . Its effects on biological and cultural diversity are a key issue in an often polarized debate . Beginning with the Neolithic Revolution, agriculture has continued to evolve throughout time with the Global Revolution , Industrial and Scientific Revolution , Green Revolution, Biotechnology Revolution, and finally the Sustainability Revolution . For over 10,000 years humans have been domesticating plants making such advances as to be able to sustain civilizations , states and countries alike. This revolution brought about three profound effects , the first and overriding consequence being the human management of plant evolution . In response to this domestication, long-term changes in allele/gene frequencies , also known as evolution, make plants dependent on humans for reproduction . Secondly , it resulted in human management of plant and animal ecosystems because of the removal and replacement of nutrients . Humans eradicate competing plants and herbivores or at least contain them . Lastly, it had resonating sociocultural and biological effects on humans . The following sedentary lifestyle has created a demand for labor as well as changed the patterns of behavior of
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Israel 2 every day life . Domestication is so weighty, that without human hands in the dirt, new varieties would not be able to survive . One example is the domestication which transformed teosintle into maize (corn) . Maize was domesticated in southern Mexico, a country that is now the world center of maize diversity . Diversity is very important aspect of maize for Mexican farmers and is preserved in situ in their fields as Farmer’s Variety’s (FVs) . BT maize puts this important aspect of Mexican life in jeopardy by trying to incorporate Transgenic Varieties (TGV’s) into traditionally based agriculture (TBA) systems . A new invention , BT in its broadest sense refers to the use of living organisms or their components to provide functional goods . This paper will focus on the final result of plant products , especially Maize in Mexico, produced by this technology. Still not fully understood , many question the potential effects of the technology on farmers variety’s that have been worked at the point of origin for hundreds, if not thousands of years . A hot debate regarding BT is the potential consequences of transgene flow (a multi step process , beginning with seed flow, and pollen flow, followed by hybridization, and introgression) throughout Mexico on local varieties at the point of origin . Looking at the differences between agriculture in the United States and that of Mexico , it will be much easier to comprehend the assumptions both sides make in their cases surrounding this issue . A better understanding is reached by contrasting, Farmer’s crop Variety’s (FV’s) and Transgenic crop Variety’s (TGV’s .) Taking examples of ethnographic studies
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course ANTH 141 taught by Professor Dubry during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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Research Paper - Israel 1 Alexander Israel 8375792...

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