Genetically Modified Foods: Great Benefits

Genetically modified foods, or genetically engineered (GE) foods, are manipulated and scientists alter the genetic makeup to enhance the foods' nutritional value, boost their resistance to disease, insects and weeds, or lengthen their “shelf lives”, the length of time they remain edible before rotting. Consumers have a growing fear of GM foods and some of those fears are unfounded, but there are great benefits to GM foods. Genetic engineering is a very recent innovation. In 1977, scientists discovered that the bacterium Agrobacterium Tumefaciens, which ordinarily causes a type of cancer in plants, could be manipulated to carry beneficial types of genes into plant cells. Not only can genes, ...

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takes on that gene's trait (“Genetically”). According to scientist Deborah B. Whitman, Author of “Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful”, recently the best know example of this is the use of B.T. genes in corn and other crops. B.T., or Bacillus Thuringiensis, is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces crystal proteins that are lethal to insect larvae. B.T. crystal protein genes have been transferred into corn, enabling the corn to produce its own pesticides against insects (“Whitman, Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?”).
Many people feel that genetic engineering is the inevitable wave of the future and that we cannot afford to ignore a technology that has such enormous potential benefits. Some benefits are: pest resistant, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, salinity tolerance, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, and phytoremediation, which is the process of using plants for pollution clean-up of contaminated soils ...

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and Lilliston”).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined in 1992 that GE foods are completely safe and therefore do not need to be labeled or separated from traditional varieties of food. The FDA's current position on food labeling is governed by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act which is only concerned with food additives, not whole foods or food products that are considered "GRAS" - generally recognized as safe. The FDA contends that GM foods are substantially equivalent to non-GM foods, and therefore not subject to more stringent labeling. If all GM foods and food products are to be labeled, Congress must enact sweeping changes in the existing food labeling policy (“Whitman”). ...

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Added: 3/13/2011 01:37:56 PM
Submitted By: Ronnie
Category: Biology
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1677
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SIMILAR ESSAYS
» Genetically Engineered Foods
» Genetically Altered Foods
» Genetically Engineered Foods
» Bioengineered Crops
» Genetic Engeneering
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