Genetically modified foods are the foods whose genetic information or material has been changed. These foods are used to fulfill the needs of nutrients and some of them are helpful in drug delivery. There are some plants which are modified in this way that they have developed resistance against herbicides or pesticides. Some scientists did the experiment in which they took the drought resistant gene from one plant and inserted it in another plant; the other plant also gained the property of resistance against drought. There are a lot of benefits of GM foods and some disadvantages are also related to these foods.
When the techniques of genetic engineering were not applied on crops yet, then farmers used to spray the plants with herbicides. This process was very much time consuming and costly. That herbicide would harm the human health as well as the environment. Then scientists developed such genes which could be used as herbicide tolerant. Plants produced as a result of these genes were healthy and had developed tolerance against herbicides naturally. There are fewer chances of harmful effects on the human health and environment of these herbicides. For example scientists have developed a strain of soybeans which are genetically modified. These soybeans have the genes of herbicide tolerance. Now instead of many applications of sprays, there will be need of only one spray of herbicides for this crop.
When the frost attacks the plants especially early seedlings, then there are chances that the crops may destroy. Scientists have extracted a cold resistance gene from the cold water fish ad inserted it into the plants. Now these plants have the ability to tolerate extreme cold weathers. Tobacco and potato are the plants used to insert the anti-freezing genes.
It is a common matter that sometimes crops get attacked by pests which completely destroy the crops. This destruction gives the financial loss to the farmers and loss of food to the developing countries. Farmers use pesticides to finish the pests but sometimes these pesticides put harmful effects on the plant itself. They may poison the plants which could be harmful for human consumption. B.t. corn is one of the genetically modified foods which are developed by using the genes of pesticide resistance. This crop is safe to consume and does not have hazardous effects on human health.
As the world's population is growing so rapidly that is why now farmers will have to produce plants on those places which were first not suitable for plant production. Such plants can be grown at such places which have the ability to store water and use it for long period of time.
Genetically modified foods are rich in nutrition. Genetic engineering methods have enabled the scientists to develop such genes which when inserted in the plants; they can increase the nutrition level of the plants. For example Golden rice is developed in this way. It contains a component beta-carotene which fulfills the deficiency of Vitamin A. This rice could be exported to such countries where children are suffering from malnutrition or are partially blind.
It is very difficult to make drugs because they are so costly that a common man cannot even think of buying them. Scientists are now trying to develop drugs in foods like potatoes and tomatoes so that along with the nutrition of the food, drug can also be easily taken.
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