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Hazards of Genetically Modified Crops, a Myth or Reality?

BY: Syed Amir Manzoor | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2011-11-18 12:56:29
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Article Summary: "The article focuses on the perception about the hazards of genetically modified crops and logically analyses the issue. Genetically modified crops and organisms suddenly appeared on the big screen in the end of 20th century. They were largely viewed in the 2/3rd of all the US processed foods. In just a couple of years, as much a.."


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Introduction to biotechnology and genetic engineering
An issue known as Genetic Engineering is vital and has been under discussion for very long now. Genetically modified crops and organisms suddenly appeared on the big screen in the end of 20th century. They were largely viewed in the 2/3rd of all the US processed foods. In just a couple of years, as much as 1/4th of all American agricultural lands about 70-80 million acres were dedicated to raise genetically modified crops. There is a war going on between GM crops and nature and GM is ahead of natural products. This powerful technology was thought as bridge between technology, animals, humans and other species but in reality GM is a Death-delivering Technology.

Genetic engineering or genetic modification is the human manipulation of the genome of an organism using DNA technology. It includes the incorporation of foreign genes or artificial genes in the body of an organism and thus the new life form is known as transgenic organism.

Nature of genetic modification
GM foods are thought to be improved varieties of earlier crops in nutritional value, lustre, texture, flavour and resistance to different things.The positive outcomes of genetic engineering seem very little when compared to the negative influences. The boom that it got in the start has now lead the scientists to be in a thought or two about it, as it's affecting the different life forms. There are many questions to ask about genetic engineering or genetic modification as on moral values genetic engineering stands short.

Health hazards
Genetically modified crops are a potential threat to the human health. Genetically modified crops pose some serious dangers to the gut function, liver function, kidney function, the immune system, endocrine system, blood composition, allergic response, effects on the unborn, and have the potential to cause cancer, or impacts on gut bacteria.

• Genetically modified foods are new, have never been tested so we are not aware of the consequences. GM crops seem to be like death is disguise. GM crops are not fresh and counterfeit us with the fresh looks. They have low nutritional values.
• GM crops are modified they may produce mutations in the organisms that consume them and hence their bodies start producing high and alien levels of toxins. GM crops produce high levels of allergens in humans. Recently it was observed in Nebraska as a GM food devastation was narrowly escaped, brazil nuts caused allergens. As a transgene is new phenomenon so no one is aware of the changes that it will produce as it produces different proteins and mutated ones too. Bt-toxin is a pesticidal protein assembled by genetically modified corn, used in sprays claiming it to be risk-free for humans caused allergens in humans on deadly level. It had even side effects on mice they showed abnormal growth and responses.
• GM crops produce antibiotic tolerant microorganisms hence causing incurable illness in humans. They are produced on mass level and have uncontrolled and unchecked production and no necessary information regarding them are delivered to the consumers.
• Syndromes have been observed in people consuming these vegetables, 37 died, 1500 were paralysed and approximately 5000 were disabled.

Environmental harm
• Claimed as agro-chemicals resistant crops farmers are at ease to use agro-chemicals causing eutrophication and in short pollution. Contain nitrogen, phosphorus etc they pollute our environment causing algal blooms in water. GM crops assemble their own pesticides known as EPA hence introduction of more pesticides in our daily food intake.
• As more food is produced there will be less predation so ecological food chains are disturbed causing an imbalance in nature's cycle.
• Genes are mutated at a really large scale and have hazards so these genes can't be easily removed like nuclear wastes it's one way and holds strong negative outcomes.
Genetic engineering and morality
Genetic engineering stands short on the moral grounds as the organisms are modified according to our own use and we are competing with nature here. Killing an organism to get a better one that's what GM is all about. There was a lot of debate about moral genetic engineering. But this is manipulation and it's against nature.

Economic concerns
Although at first GE was thought to be economically important technology but now it leaves a very bad mark on technology e.g. as all the plants in a crop are same so if when plant suffers from a problem and dies the rest of the plants are equally susceptible to death too and soon the crop is finished. This kind of economic losses if faced on big scale will be matter of concern soon.

Summary
In short GM crops are not suitable for us to eat because of the agrochemicals used on them they may cause renal, hepatic, and cardiac and other types of failures. They are mostly carcinogenic. Even though appearing to be fresh they are not fresh and are low in nutritional values. Can have mutations and the whole crops can be affected causing a mass devastation and economic loss. It's manipulation of an organisms DNA for the desired characters. Every year a number of people die because of GM crops and their hazards. Animals eat them and hence indirectly we can be affected by it too. We should stop the mass and uncontrolled production of GM crops as it's leading to devastation.

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