GM food - Genetically Modif ied Foods Man has been...

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Genetically Modified Foods Man has been "genetically modifying" everything from food to dogs for many centuries; but in the past, the only tool has been selective breeding (NOVA, 2001) . For example, if you wanted to create a breed of wheat with resistance to a certain fungus, you would plant a plot of wheat and see how individual plants did with the fungus. Then you would take seeds from the plants that did well, plant them, look at their performance against the fungus, and so on over the years until you had created a strain of wheat that had very high resistance to the fungus in question. Genetic engineering techniques now allow scientists to insert specific genes into a plant or animal without having to go through the trial-and-error process of selective breeding (NOVA, 2001). There are a variety of techniques used to modify plants and animals through genetic engineering. For example, there is a widely used herbicide called Roundup, made by Monsanto. Roundup kills any plant that it touches. Monsanto has genetically modified (GM) soybeans and other crop plants to create "Roundup Ready" strains that are not affected by Roundup. By planting Roundup Ready seeds, a farmer can control weeds by spraying Roundup right over the crop. The crop completely ignores the herbicide, but the weeds are eliminated. Roundup Ready seeds reduce production costs and increase yield, so food becomes less expensive (NOVA, 2001) 1 | P a g e
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In a perfect world, genetically modified foods are not only safe for public consumption, but also can fight disease and starvation. Malnutrition is a common occurrence in third world countries, especially in areas where people rely primarily on a single crop for the bulk of their diet. Crops such as rice do not naturally carry enough nutrients to prevent malnutrition, but with assistance from genetic modification vitamins and minerals can be added providing a more nourishing food. As an example, ‘golden’ rice was created with an unusually high content of beta-carotene, in an effort to help counteract
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GM food - Genetically Modif ied Foods Man has been...

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