By Mary Odumoriginally published by A Prosperous Way Down May 22, I recently decided to take an epidemiology course to fill in gaps in my knowledge base. The entire online graduate certificate in Environmental Health looked interesting, so I applied for the entire certificate. Environmental Health was the first course that I took online at this flagship Florida university.
Weighing the GMO arguments: Potential negative effects on the environment Genes can end up in unexpected places: Through "gene escape" they can pass on to other members of the same species and perhaps other species.
Genes introduced in GMOs are no exception, and interactions might occur at gene, cell, plant and ecosystem level. Problems could result if, for example, herbicide-resistance genes got into weeds. So far, research on this is inconclusive, with scientists divided - often bitterly.
But there is scientific consensus that once widely released, recalling transgenes or foreign DNA sequences, whose safety is still subject to scientific debate, will not be feasible. Genes can mutate with harmful effect: It is not yet known whether artificial insertion of genes could destabilize an organism, encouraging mutations, or whether the inserted gene itself will keep stable in the plant over generations.
There is no conclusive data on this issue. Organisms contain genes that are activated under certain conditions -- for example, under attack from pathogens or severe weather. When a new gene is inserted, a "promoter" gene is also inserted to switch it on.
This could activate a "sleeper" gene in inappropriate circumstances. This is especially relevant in long-lived organisms - such as trees. Sometimes the expression of genes is even "silenced" as a result of unknown interactions with the inserted gene.
Interaction with wild and native populations: GMOs could compete or breed with wild species. Farmed fish, in particular, may do this. GM crops could pose a threat to crop biodiversity, especially if grown in areas that are centres of origin of that crop.
In addition, GM crops could compete with and substitute traditional farmers' varieties and wild relatives that have been bred, or evolved, to cope with local stresses.
For example, local varieties in Latin America permitted the recovery from the catastrophic potato blight in Ireland in the s. Today such plants often help improve climate tolerance and disease resistance.
If genetically modified crop varieties substitute them, they could be lost, but the same applies to improved varieties developed by conventional breeding methods. Impact on birds, insects and soil biota: Potential risks to non-target species, such as birds, pollinators and micro-organisms, is another important issue.
Nobody quite knows the impact of horizontal flow of GM pollen to bees' gut or of novel gene sequences in plants to fungi and soil and rumen bacteria. Besides, it is feared that widespread use of GM crops could lead to the development of resistance in insect populations exposed to the GM crops.
Planting "refuge" areas with insect-susceptible varieties is advised to reduce the risk of insect populations evolving resistance due to the widespread growing of GMO Bt-crops. Potential negative effects on human health Transfer of allergenic genes: These could be accidentally transferred to other species, causing dangerous reactions in people with allergies.Opposing Genetically Modified Organisms As a result of biotechnology and its wake of controversy that follows, a number or organizations have voiced their concerns toward the corporate driven discipline.
As a product of biotechnologies carelessness, or motives, activist groups have risen th.
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are plants that have had their genes manipulated. They give the crops new characteristics, like insect resistance, larger yields, and faster growing traits. The use of GMOs is hardly new, but many believe that sufficient research on .
1. GMOs are unhealthy. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term . The Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms for Food 3 Introduction What do we know about genetically modified plants for food?
Genetic modification of food sources have been used for centuries, whether in yeast to make bread rise or using rennet to make cheese. Today, genetically modified foods have become exceptionally advanced with.
The genetically modified organisms produced can be used to produce products such as recombinant proteins, used in medical research, or be grown in agriculture. DNA profiling. Forensic scientists can use DNA in blood, semen.
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