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Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Food

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Genetics | Submitted: 2010-06-10 17:27:05
 

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Genetically modified food has great importance in our daily life. Scientists are now able to alter the genes of the plants according to their own wish. These changes are in the form of alteration in the height of the plant, color and flavor of the food. Genetically modified food has decreased the use of pesticides or insecticides during the plant production. There are some advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified food.

Advantages:-
1) Making enhancements in the quality of the plants, the production of the plants has increased. Due to this, a large part of the population of the world can be fed. Poverty rate can also be decreased.
2) Genetically modified crops or food can increase the yield and in less time, many varieties of food can be obtained. The food is also rich of nutrients.
3) Due to genetically modified crops, agriculturists use fewer pesticides and insecticides because there are in built genes in the plants which fight against various pests.
4) In the future, it would be possible to produce such varieties of fruits and vegetables, which will have edible vaccines and other drugs in the. So there will be no need of taking any medicines for the disease. For example, banana is good for treating Hepatitis B.
5) Genetic engineer has made it possible to produce food in the form of fruit and vegetables without their season under the laboratory conditions.
6) Many genes are inserted in the genetically modified food, which are inserted in the body by eating and replace the defective genes.

Disadvantages:-
1) It is not quite sure that if the genes of interest are extracted from body, they will perform their duty in the same manner at any other place.
2) It is possible that the genes inserted in the genetically modified food get immune to the pesticides and insecticides and do not show the desired results.
3) There is possibility of viruses transforming into more dangerous and virulent form than their existing state just because of the genetic modifications.
4) The immune system of an individual may not accept the desired genes when inserted through genetically modified food. May be the diseases get immune to the antibiotics.
5) There is possibility that the consumption of genetically modified food may cause cancer because of its hazardous effects.
6) It is possible that genetically modified food may become the reason of destruction of natural flora and fauna, because there are chances of transferring of unnecessary traits of plants through cross pollination which may harm the human health.
7) The biggest disadvantage is that the production of genetically modified food will bind to the developed countries because of rich resources and developing countries will have to look towards them for the food provision.

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