Bioethics Paper GM Foods

Bioethics Paper GM Foods - Neal Johnson Cell Biology...

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Neal Johnson Cell Biology Bioethics Paper Dr. Schau Tuesday, May 12, 2009 Genetically Modified Foods During the last two decades a considerable amount of time, effort, and money has been invested in the research and development of biotechnology. One particular part of this has been the development of genetically modified foods. From 1996 to 2003, planted acres of genetically modified crops increased more than twenty-fold(Factsheet, 2004). Now, most of the exercises in biotechnology have been aimed at increasing productivity and decreasing costs in the fields and farms. These products end up in the stores we shop at. As the use of genetically modified foods has increased, so has the controversy over their environmental effects, food safety, and ethics. Genetically modified, or GM, food, is a plant, animal or microorganism, that con- tains inserted DNA, or that has had DNA removed. The DNA inserted into the cell can come from any other living species, such as plants or animals.(Consumer Opinions, 2005) Page 1
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These inserted genes can help the specimen in ways. First, genetically modifying crops can enhance the taste and quality of the food. Also GM crops have improved nutri- ents, yields, stress tolerance, and resistance to disease, pests, and herbicides(United States, 2007). “For example, herbicides are used to kill weeds in fields of crops but they can also affect the growth of the crops they are intended to protect. By using genetic modi- fication, a gene with a particular characteristic, such as resistance to a specific herbicide, can be introduced into a crop plant. When that herbicide is sprayed on the field to kill the weeds, it will not hinder the growth of the crops.(United Kingdom, 2007)” Second, GM animals have increased resistance, productivity, hardiness, life span, and feed efficiency.
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