Genetically modified crops… Is it detriment..?

Organic agriculture involve natural methods such as crop rotation, biological pest control, compost etc.

Genetically modified crops are a result of recombinant DNA technology or genetic engineering.

Genes of commercial interest are transferred from one organism (also between non-related species) to another. Recombinant DNA technology allows plant breeders to generate superior plant varieties by bringing in useful genes from a wide range of living organisms in one plant.

Foreign genes are introduced into plant genomes through two methods. The first is the Gene Gun method wherein DNA to be introduced into the plant cells is coated onto tiny particles, which are then physically shot onto plant cells. Some of the DNA comes off whereas most of the DNA gets incorporated into the genome of recipient plant. The second method uses the bacterium to introduce the gene(s) of interest into the plant DNA. This is commonly referred to as microbial genetics. Genetically modified crops have their genes altered in a way that does not occur naturally by pollination and or natural recombination. The natural process of pollination and or natural recombination falls under the category of genetics.

Genetically modified crops are produced and marketed because of their benefits to both the producer and consumer. The potential benefits include higher crop yields, higher durability and nutritional value of the crops, reduced farm costs and increased farm profit. Genetically modified crops include rice enriched with iron, vitamin A, and E, and lysine, potatoes with higher starch content and inulin, allergen-free nuts, healthier oils from soybean and canola and maize with low phytic acid, increased essential amino acids. Such plants also have increased the level of crop protection through increased tolerance towards herbicides or resistance against diseases caused by insects or viruses.

The safety assessment of genetically modified foods mostly measures parameters such as toxicity, allergenicity, the stability of the inserted gene, nutritional value and any unintended effects that could result from the gene insertion.

The potential risks of genetically modified crops include unintentionally introducing allergens and other anti nutritional factors in foods, toxins affecting non-target organisms, pests evolving resistance to the toxins produced by genetically modified crops, and a likelihood of transgenes escaping from cultivated crops into wild relatives. Gene transfer from genetically modified foods to cells of the bacteria in human gastrointestinal tract would adversely affect human health, which is particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes get transferred.

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