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Genetically Modified Crops

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Sam Kannurpatti

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically Modified Crops By Sam Kannurpatti What Are Genetically Modified Crops? Genetically modified crops are crops which have had changes made to their DNA in a lab, usually through bacterial introduction. They can be engineered for increased production, better pest resistance, growth, and ease of harvesting. These crops can also be made into hybrids. Types of Modified Crops There are many kinds of genetically modified crops. As any crop can be modified, there are endless varieties of modified crops. However, grains and vegetables are the most heavily altered, from longer-lasting tomatoes to "golden rice," a type of rice that has been modified to produce beta-carotene, a part of Vitamin A.
Uses for these plants include more production, pest and virus-resistance, better growth of the plants, and increased nutrition. Why do we need GM (Genetically Modified) Crops? Over 925 million people go undernourished every day. According to the Food Security Index, an index of food safety, affordability and availability, the food supply in developed countries is enough for every person to eat 1,100 calories above the 2,300 calorie per day benchmark. In developing countries, there is a 100-calorie deficit.
GM crops can solve this problem. By producing pest and disease-resistant crops and higher-yielding seeds, the world's food production would greatly increase. Risks of Genetically Engineered Crops There are a few potential risks associated with GM crops:
Accidental introduction of health risks like allergens
Escaping of GM crops into the wild, disturbing the ecosystem
The pest-killing toxins produced by GM crops affecting other animals
The small risk of genetic exchange by consumption of these crops

Scientists are working to solve some of these problems like toxins and health risks, but preventing these plants from blending with wild varieties needs careful watching by farmers so the ecosystem doesn't become unstable. This makes genetic engineering such a controversial issue. The History of Genetically Modified Crops 1973 - The first successful engineered organism is created.

1980 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that genetically engineered life can be patented.

1986-1987 - Genetically altered crops are first tested in the United States and Belgium.

1992 - The Favr Savr tomato is approved by the USDA for sale. The FDA says that genetically modified foods are not dangerous.

2000 - "Golden rice," a type of vitamin-producing rice, is made in a lab.

2001 - Bt corn, a type of modified corn that kills pests, is found to have no bad effects.
Impact On Us Genetically modified crops already have an impact on us. For example, most corn eaten in the U.S. is genetically modified. We already eat and use genetically engineered crops, although we may not always know it. As of now, companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto–both crop engineering companies–are selling engineered seeds to farmers around the world. Genetic engineering is growing. YouTube - What Are GM Plants? Citations Ania,  Wieczorek. "History of Agricultural Biotechnology: How Crop Development has Evolved | Learn Science at Scitable." Nature Publishing Group : science journals, jobs, and information. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/history-of-agricultural-biotechnology-how-crop-development-25885295>.
"History of GMOS." American RadioWorks from American Public Media. American Public Media, n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/gmos_india/history.html>.
The Discovery Channel. "Top 10 Genetically Modified Food Products : Discovery Channel." Discovery Channel : Science, History, Space, Tech, Sharks, News! : Discovery Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-genetically-modified-food-products.htm>.
"11 Facts About Global Hunger | Do Something." Do Something | Largest organization for teens and social cause. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://www.dosomething.org/actnow/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-world-hunger>.
"Global Food Security Index: Key Findings." Global Food Security Index. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://www.foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Home/KeyFindings>.
"Q and A About Genetically Modified Crops - Pocket K | ISAAA.org." International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications - ISAAA.org. International Service for the Application of Agri-Biotech Acquisitions, n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/1/default.asp>."What are GM plants? - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. < N.d. Photograph. www.livinggreenmag.comWeb. 4 Apr 2013. <http://livinggreenmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/kiwi-orange.jpg>.
N.d. Photograph. www.hivehealthmedia.comWeb. 4 Apr 2013. <http://cdn.hivehealthmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/genetically-modified-tomatoes.jpg>.
N.d. Photograph. www.forbes.comWeb. 4 Apr 2013. <http://blogs-images.forbes.com/rachelhennessey/files/2012/10/p.jpg>.
N.d. Photograph. www.forbes.comWeb. 4 Apr 2013. <http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jonentine/files/2012/12/golden-rice-hero2.jpg>.
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