Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms that through the introduction of foreign genes genetic code given new properties.
GMOs are divided into the following types:
– Genetically modified organisms;
– Genetically modified animals;
– Genetically modified plants.
Each animal and plant has thousands of different characters. For each feature meets certain gene, which is a small segment of the molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). If you remove the gene responsible for the appearance of any sign, the sign itself and disappear, and if we introduce a new gene, the animal or plant there a new quality.
Genetically modified organisms created by genetic engineering – science, which allows you to enter into the genome of the microorganism, animal or plant DNA from any other organism in order to give them certain properties. For example, to remove the breed pigs with lean meat they have built a gene spinach; to remove frost tomato genes embedded in its Arctic flounder gene; for breeding rice resistant to pests, in his genes added gene of human liver, and to derive the drought-resistant varieties of wheat genes have built her a scorpion.
Important difference between genetically modified organisms from natural – they are absolutely sterile. That is, the seeds of these plants do not germinate, and the animals do not give offspring. Introduction of alien genes of one species or classes in the other leads to a genetic malfunction, blocking the processes of reproduction. This is a protective mechanism for the conservation of species, nature protest against interference in its laws.
Currently, the world population of about 7 billion people. Scientists project that by 2050 could increase to 9 – 11 billion One of the major problems facing humanity which already is the lack of food. In this regard, agriculture introduced the most productive biotechnology. One of them is genetic engineering, which are created using genetically modified products.
On the basis of development of biological weapons in 1983 in the United States have grown the world’s first genetically modified plant. And after ten years, without proper safety checks for the person in the world food market appeared first genetically modified food. Began a global uncontrolled experiment on mankind.
In China in 1992 began to grow tobacco, which is “not afraid” of harmful insects. In 1994, there were tomatoes that did not deteriorate during transport, and months could be in the form of underripe at 12 degrees. But as soon as they are placed in heat, a few hours they become ripe. Next genetically modified foods began to appear one after another. Genetically modified soybeans replaced ordinary appeared genetically modified maize. Developed a kind of potato resistant to the Colorado potato beetle.
The bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens has the ability to embed portions of its DNA into the plant, then it is very affected cells start to divide rapidly, forming a tumor. First, a strain of the bacteria does not cause tumors, but not deprived of the opportunity to make their DNA into the cell. Next, the gene was cloned into Agrobacterium tumefaciens and then challenged with this bacterium already plant. After that, the plant cells of infection acquired the desired properties, and grow out of one of his cage the whole plant is not a problem.
According to this method is carried out bombardment of plant cells with special very small tungsten bullets containing DNA. This bullet with a certain probability can correctly transmit a cell’s genetic material, whereby the plant obtains new properties. A bullet itself because of its microscopic size does not interfere with the normal development of cells.
Cells were pretreated with special reagents that destroy the cell wall thicker, placed in a solution containing DNA and substances promoting its penetration into the cell. Then the cells were grown from one whole plant.
All new technologies are the object of attention of scientists around the world. This is due to the fact that scientists’ opinions about the safety of genetically modified foods apart.
Genetically modified plants now have the following properties:
– Higher yields;
– Give several harvests per year;
– Resistance to insects (for example, in Russia are being developed aimed at obtaining varieties of potatoes, the leaves of which are acutely toxic to Colorado potato beetle and its larvae);
– Resistant to adverse climatic conditions (obtained drought resistant transgenic plants having in its genome gene scorpion);
– Able to synthesize some of the proteins of animal origin (eg, in China obtained grade tobacco, synthesizing human lactoferrin);
– Resistance to herbicides;
– Resistance to viruses;
– Resistance to fungi.
– Resistance to salts and aluminum (by genetic modification managed to get rape, carrying ion transporter gene of Arabidopsis, which makes it resistant to sodium chloride salinity.
Thus, the creation of genetically modified plants can solve a range of issues, both agronomic and food, as well as technological, pharmacological, etc. Also, go into oblivion pesticides and other toxic chemicals that disturb the natural balance of local ecosystems and causes irreparable damage to the environment.
There is no confirmed scientific research pointing to the risk of consumption of genetically modified food. Genetically modified foods have advantages. For example, chemicals are less than their natural counterparts. Some genetically modified plants themselves destroy herbicides – by keeping the special enzyme. And all the products derived from genetically modified plants, mandatory tested for biological and food safety.
Genetically modified foods are more resistant to all kinds of viruses and bacteria. They kept longer.
Targets genetic techniques applied to the animal – it usually accelerate their growth and to increase their mass. Cows were obtained with an increased fat content in milk and salmon, which grow very quickly and you do not need to migrate from the sea to fresh water.
Tomatoes – glossy appearance flawless look and endless storage duration.
Potatoes – resistance to pests and increased productivity.
Bananas – medicinal properties (produce polio vaccine).
Bread with genetically modified enzymes long does not get stale.
Tobacco acquires resistance to toxic chemicals.
The proponents of GM foods argue that genetic engineering will save the world’s growing population from starvation.
Cons of GMF
In many countries, there are interest bans on genetically modified foods, for example, in Europe the rate of GMO content in the product is not greater than 0.9%, Japan – no more than 5%, and in the U.S. – 10%. Almost all countries Mandatory labeling of GMO content in it. Russia also has a law by which the mandatory labeling of GMO product sign, if their content exceeds 0.9%.
In the United States suffer from allergies 70% of the population, Russian 30 and many scientists believe that this is due to genetically modified foods.
Genetically modified foods greatly reduced immunity and cause a metabolic disorder. They also cause disruption of the gastric mucosa.
Genetically modified foods contribute to the emergence of resistant human pathogenic microorganisms to antibiotics. Upon receipt of GMO still used marker genes are antibiotic resistance, which can move in the intestinal microflora, which has been shown in the respective experiments, and this in turn may lead to health problems – the inability to cure many diseases.
Genetically modified foods are the cause of health problems related to the accumulation in the body of herbicides. Most of the known genetically modified plants do not die when the mass use of agricultural chemicals and are able to accumulate.
Genetically modified foods cause a new disease – morgelon. Morgelon is a disease characterized by the appearance of a person under the skin with colorful threads of a few millimeters in length, representing the education of Agrobacterium. Morgelonom patient experiencing unbearable itching and covered with non-healing sores.
In humans consuming genetically modified foods, there are irreversible changes leading to complete sterility. Genetic engineering – is a gross interference in the complex genetic mechanisms. It created a breach in harmony DNA of plants, animals and people from whom nature has automatic remedy – infertility.
Cancer, infertility, allergies and other diseases in recent years have tragically widespread throughout the world and many experts attribute this is to genetically modified food. Many scientists say directly that these weapons of mass destruction.
There are obvious benefits of GMF – to ensure the world’s population in agricultural products. Earth’s population is constantly growing, and acreage not only increasing, but most often reduced. Genetically modified crops allow, without increasing the area, at times increase yields. Grow such products easier, so are less expensive.
Despite many enemies harm products not certified by any serious study. In contrast, GM products allow after some time to get rid of various toxic chemicals that are used in the cultivation of many crops. The result of this reduction in the amount mentioned chronic diseases (particularly allergic), and other immune disorders.
But biologists do not deny the fact that nobody knows how to use GM products affect the health of future generations. First results will be known only in a few decades, this experiment is able to spend time only.
More frequently than others in the store found genetically modified products from corn, potato, rapeseed, soybean. In addition they have fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and some other products. GM plants can be found in the composition of mayonnaise, margarine, candy, confectionery and bakery products, vegetable oil, baby food, sausages.
These products are no different from the usual taste, but are cheaper. And selling them there would be nothing wrong if the packaging manufacturer indicated that it genetically modified foods. The man himself might have to decide what to buy: GM products cheaper or more expensive conventional. And, despite the fact that such marking is mandatory (if they contain GM products from 0, 9% of the total product) on health and hygiene requirements in our country, there is not always.
Studies have found that eating GM food does not cause direct harm to the human body, however, this fact is not yet confirmed time.
Tamar Haspel for the Washington Post. October 15, 2013. Genetically modified foods: What is and isn’t true
Biotechnology Online (2009). A food biotechnology timeline. Retrieved from http://www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/foodag/timeline.html
Ronald, Pamela and McWilliams, James Genetically Engineered Distortions The New York Times, May 14, 2010, Retrieved July 26, 2010.
Lee, B. H. (1996). Fundamentals of food biotechnology. Montreal, QC: Wiley-VCH.
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