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Genetically Engineered Crops -
DNA is present in all plant life on earth. It is the coding that is given to each plant that determines its species and various other aspects of its characteristics. Genetic engineering is a relatively modern field which allows scientists to modify certain specific genetic material. By performing such modifications, scientists are able to change certain characteristics of the organism that they are dealing with. These modifications can be applied to seeds which would produce genetically modified crops.
Genetic engineering focuses on the production of a strain of crops that is easier to grow well. Genetic engineering is designed to improve the yield of crop per unit of land. It also aims to reduce the susceptibility of plants to common diseases that can cause catastrophic damage to plants. Genetically engineered crops also tend to have better homogeneity. Homogeneity means there is a uniform quality to the crops. The ability to have a relatively uniform spread of crops allows the farmer and the consumer to be more certain about what is being produced and the result that will occur at the end of the cultivation process. This allows investment and future pricing to be efficiently calculated and predicted.
It should be noted that almost all forms of agriculture affect the environment. Land that is used for agriculture is land that has been cleared of trees and other local plants that belong to a particular region. In conventional agriculture, it is not uncommon for seeds from the fields to interact with wild plants in nearby uncultivated areas. Usually this does not result in any new plant being created as the family of plants in the area is generally different from that of the plant being cultivated. When it comes to genetically engineered crops there is a risk that the genetically modified varieties may interact with the indigenous plants of the area creating a genetically modified version of the indigenous plant. This process has the potential to affect the natural plant life in an area and can cause serious long term damage.
Genetically Modified Crops -
Another important factor in consideration when it comes to genetically engineered crops is the safety of consumption for human beings. Most plants that are grown using conventional techniques have been grown for many generations. Many plants grown in such methods have a small quantity of naturally occurring toxins. This does not pose a serious problem for human or animal consumption. The occurrence of natural toxins does raise a safety issue regarding the consumption of genetically engineered crops. These crops may, due to their modified DNA, pick up different levels of naturally occurring toxins.
This can potentially create a dangerous situation for people or animals consuming the produce from genetically engineered crops. Research continues to be conducted on the subject for a clearer understanding of the dangers of genetically engineered crops. Presently, those crops that are certified by local certification agencies meet the health and safety norms present. Those that do not meet these norms are not produced in large quantities and are banned from sale.
|Submitted on January 17, 2014|