Genetic engineering (modifying the genetic structure of living organisms) can be applied to animals, plants, bacteria, and other small organisms and is a process in which scientists move genes from one plant or one animal to another. Genes can also be moved from a plant to an animal or from an animal to a plant. Genetically engineered organisms are also referred to as genetically modified organisms, GMOs.
The genetic modification process involves selecting plants with desired qualities and harvesting them, resulting in plants with those desired traits. Typically, the genetic engineering process enables scientists to choose one specific gene to the implant which eliminates the possibility of introducing other genes with traits that are undesirable. Genetically engineered food helps to speed up the process of producing new foods with the desired qualities.
The Benefits of Genetic Engineering include
Some of the benefits are:
- Tastier and more nutritious food
- Plants that are more resilient to disease and droughts, thereby requiring less water and fertilizer and less use of pesticides
- An increase in the supply of food as well as food with a longer shelf life
- Faster growing plants
- Food that is healthier, such as food that produces less or no carcinogens when fried
There are also concerns when it comes to GE foods such as creating food that causes allergic or toxic reactions; foods that are not as nutritious and food containing harmful genetic changes. Fortunately, to date, these concerns have been unfounded. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and ensures that all GE food is safe for people and animals as well as the environment.
GMO Crops Grown in the United States
Corn is the most commonly grown crop in the US and most of it is GMO. It is created to resist insects and tolerate herbicides. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn is GMO corn that produces proteins that are poisonous to certain insects but not to humans or animals. This protein does not harm other types of insects that are beneficial such as ladybugs. GMO Bt corn decreases the need for insecticides and most of this type of corn is used to feed livestock such as poultry, chickens, and cows.
Potatoes – some GMO potato varieties have been created to resist bruising that occurs during packaging, storing, and transportation making them ideal for snacking on in various cooked forms while playing at Big Dollar online casino.
Papaya – The ringspot virus disease had all but decimated Hawaii’s papaya industry until GMO papaya (Rainbow papaya) was created to resist the ringspot virus and this saved papaya farming in Hawaii.
Are Animals that Eat GMO Crops Healthy?
In the United States, most animals used for meat and dairy eat GMO crops. Studies show that GMO foods are perfectly safe for animals to eat and that the DNA in these foods does not transfer to the animals who eat them. Similarly, foods produced from animals that eat GMO crops are equal in nutritional value, safety, and quality to foods made from animals that eat only non-GMO food.
GMO crops not only improve yield by introducing resistance to plant diseases or increased tolerance of herbicides, they also allow for food price reductions through enhanced yields. In the future, the genetic modification will strive to further reduce the allergenic potential in food, find more sustainable ways of solving global hunger, and continue to improve on work done in treatments such as chemotherapy, flu vaccines, and insulin shots, all of which improve the lives of at-risk populations.