Name: Professor: Class: Date: Genetically modified crops and bio-diversity A genetically modified organism is defined as any living organism possessing a unique combination of genetic material acquired from the use of modern biotechnology, commonly through the transferral of genetic material from one organism to another…
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Genetically modified organisms were first authorised for sale as food in 1994, amid different views from the international community over the benefits and costs of genetic modification, its associated applications and the cultural, ethnical, social and political issues arising from its use (Orton). Some consider it unnatural proposing its rejection while others, concerned about the pollution, nutritional issues and food supply, are more open to technological innovation. Some still want more information prior to deciding whether to support the full release of GMOs to the environment. Numerous environmental threats from the use of genetically modified crops have been identified and they include the loss of agricultural species and their wild relatives through the process of gene flow, despite it still occurring in non-GM crops (Orton). Throughout the 20th century, conventional breeding has created a huge number of hybrids and as a result, varieties which have contributed immensely more yields, stable harvests and reliable farm income. Despite this, the battle against world hunger is still far from over. The rapidly increasing human population, insufficient poverty eradication programs and the changing demographics have greatly battered the successes of the Green Revolution (Orton). For genetic modification of food to continually meet the need of the ever increasing world’s population, both bio-technology and conventional technologies are necessary. Depending on the context, genetic modification still remains a controversial issue both as potential threat and as an opportunity for biodiversity conversation. Biodiversity is defined as the variability among living organisms from different sources that comprise of the marine, terrestrial, aquatic ecosystems and other ecological complexes that they are part of, including the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. The pressure on biodiversity is continually increasing. The main predominant threats on biodiversity include loss of habitats, degradation from agriculture and development of infrastructure, pollution overexploitation and invasive alien species. Several responses have been made concerning the loss and degradation of biodiversity and although these have failed to reduce the decline, more effort is needed (Roller). Some responses include those of adopting policies that manage the invasive alien species and genetically modified organisms (including crops). GM crops pose a risk in reducing the agricultural and crop diversity which are the basis of poor farmer livelihoods and the food sovereignty of developing nations. Three quarters of the original varieties of agricultural crops have been lost since 1900 as export led agriculture has encouraged monoculture for a more uniform global market. GM crops threaten to eat away at biodiversity more (Roller). GM proponents argue that genetic engineering is indispensable so as to supply tomorrow’s world with food and natural resources. However there has been a drastic decrease in the diversity of the flora and fauna field. Due to the spread of commercial seeds and high performance cultivars, well adapted local varieties have been eliminated. Farmers become continually unable to cultivate their own seeds. GM “super-plants” usually accelerates the reduction in diversity as they are designed for implementation of mono cultures and economic sovereignty (IUCN). This demonstrates the amounts of variants that have been and
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The paper also discusses the negative and positive impacts of genetically produced foods on the human population globally. In addition, the paper also discusses the possible solutions to the problems caused by the genetically produced food products.
Genetically modified crops, “first emerged in the early 1990s” and have since gained both considerable support and controversy (Stastop, pg. 668). With the ability to produce super-resistant and productive crop strains of such products as soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton-seed oil, genetically modified strains have found support for use both for economic reasons as well as a means of supporting impoverished regions.
The author states that pathogens, herbivorous insects, and parasites have significantly reduced crop yields all over the world. Given the fact that the population is increasing, traditional crops cannot sustain the world population because of the above threats. GM crops have been introduced to help abate this problem.
There are multiple issues surrounding the safety and reliability of genetically modified organisms in the future. Whereas there are multiple myths surrounding genetic modifications, research can provide highlights on the truths surrounding GMOs and provide knowledge on the production of these organisms.
ering has however met mixed reactions with some opinions suggesting its negative impacts on the environment and campaigning against it while some opinions claim its benefits to the environment. Each of these arguments has been supported by scientific research based theories.
that they presented in the journal Nature, they pushed the boundaries of possibility farther, and what was considered to be fiction was now being viewed in a completely different light. A DNA is a double helix and is made up of sequences of nucleotides. Specific arrangements of
Most of the subsisting genetically modified crops have been altered to enhance yield, through improved tolerance of herbicides or enhanced resistance to plant diseases. The future of genetic modification may entail changing the nutrient content of food, enhancing
Due to lack of extensive testing, it is very difficult to argue that the use of genetically modified crops is safe for human use. This is why genetically modified crop can lead to health risks. The presence of doubt with regards to the GMC poses
Genetically Modified Foods.
Technology advancements have been experienced in various fields of the economy, agriculture and medicine included. In the field of agriculture, due to the increased frequency of drought and crop diseases, it has been necessary to find ways of increasing yields, which has been realized by the introduction of genetically modified foods.
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