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GM foods-where do we cross the line Discuss - Essay Example

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The term GM foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques." The main reason for modifying these plants in the laboratory is to enhance its desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional value…
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GM foods-where do we cross the line Discuss
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Download file to see previous pages Farmers are involved for making better quality foods which are pest resistant and more nutritious. It can be produced with lesser gestation period and taste better than the natural produce. Traits of different plants are used to produce a better and richer quality of food.
"Thirteen countries grew genetically-engineered crops commercially in 2000, and of these, the U.S. produced the majority. In 2000, 68% of all GM crops were grown by U.S. farmers. In comparison, Argentina, Canada and China produced only 23%, 7% and 1%, respectively. Other countries that grew commercial GM crops in 2000 are Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Spain, and Uruguay.
Soybeans and corn are the top two most widely grown crops (82% of all GM crops harvested in 2000), with cotton, rapeseed (or canola) and potatoes trailing behind. 74% of these GM crops were modified for herbicide tolerance, 19% were modified for insect pest resistance, and 7% were modified for both herbicide tolerance and pest tolerance. Globally, acreage of GM crops has increased 25-fold in just 5 years, from approximately 4.3 million acres in 1996 to 109 million acres in 2000 - almost twice the area of the United Kingdom. Approximately 99 million acres were devoted to GM crops in the U.S. and Argentina alone.
In the U.In the U.S., approximately 54% of all soybeans cultivated in 2000 were genetically-modified, up from 42% in 1998 and only 7% in 1996. In 2000, genetically-modified cotton varieties accounted for 61% of the total cotton crop, up from 42% in 1998, and 15% in 1996. GM corn and also experienced a similar but less dramatic increase. Corn production increased to 25% of all corn grown in 2000, about the same as 1998 (26%), but up from 1.5% in 1996. As anticipated, pesticide and herbicide use on these GM varieties was slashed and, for the most part, yields were increased." (Whitman, 2000)
According to Aigner, genetically modified plants are unwanted by both consumers and farmers. The minister for the environment, Sigmar Gabriel, has suggested that Germany follow the example of "countries like France that have imposed a unilateral ban on GM maize cultivation". Furthermore, Gabriel recommended that national policy be reviewed before the start of spring planting.
According to a report in GMO Compass (2009), despite the several debates and bans, the cultivation of genetically modified plants continues to increase worldwide. In 2008, GM crops rose by a figure of 9.4 per cent to occupy 125 million hectares. GM plants are employed in 25 countries, of which Bolivia, Burkina Faso and Egypt are the newest. For soybean, the area occupied by GM varieties expanded to 65.8 mil. hectares (2007: 58.6), maize to 37.3 (35.2), cotton to 15.5 (15.0), and rapeseed to 5.9 (5.0). GM varieties represent 72 per cent of the global production of soybean and 47 per cent of cotton. These figures are taken from the yearly report by the agro-biotechnology agency ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications) on the cultivation of GM plants. The report was published on 11 February in Nairobi (Kenya).
Genetically Modified Crops Across the World
An "estimate says that there are almost 30000 different products on grocery store shelves are "modified." That's largely because many processed foods contain soy. Half of North ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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