GeneticEngineering and the Growing Food Demand: (Claim)
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are biological organisms whose genetic components have been engineered to withstand better conditional effects, herbicides and improve their nutritional value. Some examples of successfully applied GMOs include the insect resistant corn crop and the Roundup resistant soybeans (Beverly O 2013).
It is done by attaching genes to a virus and inserting the extra DNA into the nucleus of the intended host using electric pulse. GMOs in foods have raised a considerable amount of controversy in the world of agriculture as there have been claims of the negative health impact on the lives of the human population. Since the plant’s genetic composition is interfered with, the human and animals that consume them may also be affected biologically.
However, with the human population growing rapidly, there must be a means of keeping up with the food supply, which is where GMOs can help solve the problem.
Theagricultural researchers have found great importance in GMOs. Fromvarious research carried through the website (Google books, webpages, web news and YouTube), due to their specialization on thetopic as the chapters needed are fully available online and are up todate, it is apparent that the GMO crops have advantages in thegrowing world.
Accordingto the first website page, the Scott Miracle-Gro Company was carryingout research on the first genetically engineered grass:
The first study ended up disastrous. The grass escaped from the test plots in Oregon in the wild. The government would approve it for commercial use as the Scott’s developed a genetically modified grass that needed less mowing was deeper green and was resistant to damage from popular weed killer Roundup.
This grass did not need before it was field-tested and marketed. This improved research led the Scott’s and other research companies to use this techniques that are outside the jurisdiction of agricultural department or the use of new methods (Gerome editing) to produce genetically modified crops thus increasing the crop production (Pollack, By ‘Editing’ Plant Genes, Companies Avoid Regulation, 2015).
Anothercompany, the Okanagan Specialty Fruit is trying to bring into themarket a genetically engineered apple that does not brown when cut.
The company has it that the newly modified apple that does not brown will win the customers’ interest and food companies that will help increase the apple sales in sliced form. This apple that has been named the Arctic Apple will be one of the first genetically modified fruits consumed directly for the American people. But introducing this Apple into the market will interfere with the consensus of fruit as a “natural” and “healthy” food. However, the government does not hinder its introduction of this new apple since it has not found any negative. (Pollack, That Fresh Look, Genetically Buffed, 2012).
The Okanagan Specialty Fruit have genetically engineered this apple so as it can resist enzymatic browning that is the oxidation of fresh apple when it is cut open and exposed to oxygen. This gene creates polyphenol oxidase enzyme that is responsible for initial browning in apples by inserting other copies of this gene shutting down production of polyphenol oxidase. It prevents initial oxidation thus after cutting the apple it remains fresh for a longer period. (C. J. Walke Genetically Engineered Arctic Apples 2013)
Thethird case is of a company that has carried out the geneticengineering and modification on the salmon.
The genetic engineers found out that by altering the genetic constitution of the food with the introduction of a gene from an eel-like fish and the Pacific salmon would trigger its growth rate. The genetically modified food grows at twice the normal rate and gets to the market sooner thus making more money for a short period. This modification has been developed with promoters driving to an overproduction of all fish growth hormone that is used in the aquaculture industry to increase which increase the development speed and prevent the fishing of wild stock.
FDAscientists agree that this new salmon fish has no difference in thetaste and is as safe as the Atlantic salmon (Beverly O, 2010). Butcritics request for deeper research on the potential health effectson humans. Another questionable issue that they want to understandis the fish behaviour when released into the wild. Will the fish beable to reproduce with the Atlantic salmon or will they crowd of thewild fish? Will they be given a special label? The genetic scientistsclaim that the fish will meet all these and hope that theintroduction of this kind of salmon fish into the market will meetthe growing demand for food (Beverly O, 2010).
Consideringthe above-described cases that have been scientifically proved, thegenetically modified organisms can have significant advantagesespecially in a growing market demand. The rate of production andtheir other biological superiority introduced through geneticengineering is an important technological step in the agriculturalfield as it fights to cater for the growing consumption demand.Therefore, the claim that genetic engineering is necessary to keep upwith the growing demand for food is correct.
Beverly O, c. (Director). (2010). Super Salmon for sale [Motion Picture].
Pollack, A. (2012, Jully 12). That Fresh Look, Genetically Buffed. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/business/growers-fret-over-a-new-apple-that-wont-turn-brown.html?_r=2&smid=tw-nytimesdining&seid=auto
Pollack, A. (2015, January 1). By ‘Editing’ Plant Genes, Companies Avoid Regulation. Retrieved from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/business/energy-environment/a-gray-area-in-regulation-of-genetically-modified-crops.html