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Food GM

Food GM

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Published by Bonophool Banerjee

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Published by: Bonophool Banerjee on Feb 08, 2014
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Food, Genetically modified
Bonophool BanerjeeSr. LecturerDepartment of Food ProductionIHM, Taratala
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism. Currently available GM foods stem mostly from lants, but in the future foods derived from GM microorganisms or GM animals are li!ely to be introduced on the mar!et. Most e"isting genetically modified cros have been develoed to imrove yield, through the introduction of resistance to lant diseases or of increased tolerance of herbicides.#n the future, genetic modification could be aimed at altering the nutrient content of food, reducing its allergenic otential, or imroving the efficiency of food roduction systems. All GM foods should be assessed before being allowed on the mar!et. $%& Code" guidelines e"ist for ris! analysis of GM food. Genetically'modified foods
 
GM foods) have made a big slash in the news lately. uroean environmental organiations and ublic interest grous have  been actively rotesting against GM foods for months, and recent controversial studies about the effects of genetically'modified corn ollen on monarch  butterfly caterillars have brought the issue of genetic engineering to the forefront of the ublic consciousness in the *.+. #n resonse to the u swelling of ublic concern, the *.+. ood and Drug Administration (DA) held three oen meetings in Chicago, $ashington, D.C., and &a!land, California to solicit  ublic oinions and begin the rocess of establishing a new regulatory  rocedure for government aroval of GM foods.
!hat are "enetically#modified food$%
-he term GM foods or GM&s (genetically'modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to cro lants created for human or animal consumtion using the latest molecular biology techniues. -hese lants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or imroved nutritional content. -he enhancement of desired traits has traditionally been underta!en through breeding, but conventional lant
 
 breeding methods can be very time consuming and are often not very accurate.
Genetic en"ineerin"
, on the other hand, can create lants with the e"act desired trait very raidly and with great accuracy. or e"amle, lant geneticists can isolate a
"ene
 resonsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different lant. -he new genetically'modified lant will gain drought tolerance as well. Not only can genes be transferred from one lant to another, but genes from non'lant organisms also can be used. -he best !nown e"amle of this is the use of /.t. genes in corn and other cros. /.t., or
 Bacillus thuringiensis
, is a naturally occurring bacterium that roduces crystal roteins that are lethal to insect larvae. /.t. crystal rotein genes have been transferred into corn, enabling the corn to roduce its own esticides against insects such as the uroean corn  borer.
!hat are $ome of the ad&anta"e$ of GM food$%
-he world oulation has toed 0 billion eole and is redicted to double in the ne"t 12 years. nsuring an adeuate food suly for this booming  oulation is going to be a ma3or challenge in the years to come. GM foods  romise to meet this need in a number of ways4
Pe$t re$i$tance
4Crolosses from insect ests can be staggering, resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in develoing countries. armers tyically use many tons of chemical  esticides annually. Consumers do not wish to eat food that has been treated with esticides because of otential health haards, and run'off of agricultural wastes from e"cessive use of esticides and fertiliers can  oison the water suly and cause harm to the environment. Growing GM foods such as /.t. corn can hel eliminate the alication of chemical esticides and reduce the cost of bringing a cro to mar!et.
Her'icide tolerance(
or some cros, it is not cost'effective to remove weeds by hysical means such as tilling, so farmers will often sray large uantities of different herbicides (weed'!iller) to destroy weeds, a time'consuming and e"ensive rocess, that reuires care so that the herbicide doesn5t harm the cro lant or the environment. Cro lants genetically'engineered to be resistant to one very owerful herbicide could hel  revent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. or e"amle, Monsanto has created a strain of soybeans genetically modified to be not affected by their herbicide roduct 6oundu . A farmer grows these soybeans which then only reuire one alication of weed'!iller instead of multile alications, reducing  roduction cost and limiting the dangers of agricultural waste run'off.
 
Di$ea$e re$i$tance
4-here are many viruses, fungi and bacteria that cause  lant diseases. 7lant biologists are wor!ing to create lants with genetically'engineered resistance to these diseases.
)old tolerance(
*ne"ected frost can destroy sensitive seedlings. An antifreee gene from cold water fish has been introduced into lants such as tobacco and otato. $ith this antifreee gene, these lants are able to tolerate cold temeratures that normally would !ill unmodified seedlings.
Drou"ht tolerance*$alinity tolerance
4As the world oulation grows and more land is utilied for housing instead of food roduction, farmers will need to grow cros in locations reviously unsuited for lant cultivation. Creating lants that can withstand long eriods of drought or high salt content in soil and groundwater will hel eole to grow cros in formerly inhositable laces.
+utrition(
Malnutrition is common in third world countries where imoverished eoles rely on a single cro such as rice for the main stale of their diet. %owever, rice does not contain adeuate amounts of all necessary nutrients to revent malnutrition. #f rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies could be alleviated. or e"amle, blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common roblem in third world countries. 6esearchers at the +wiss ederal #nstitute of -echnology #nstitute for 7lant +ciences have created a strain of 8golden8 rice containing an unusually high content of beta'carotene (vitamin A). +ince this rice was funded by the 6oc!efeller oundation, a non'rofit organiation, the #nstitute hoes to offer the golden rice seed free to any third world country that reuests it. 7lans were underway to develo a golden rice that also has increased iron content. %owever, the grant that funded the creation of these two rice strains was not renewed, erhas because of the vigorous anti'GM food  rotesting in uroe, and so this nutritionally'enhanced rice may not come to mar!et at all.
Pharmaceutical$(
Medicines and vaccines often are costly to roduce and sometimes reuire secial storage conditions not readily available in third world countries. 6esearchers are wor!ing to develo edible vaccines in tomatoes and otatoes. -hese vaccines will be much easier to shi, store and administer than traditional in3ectable vaccines.
Phytoremediation(
 Not all GM lants are grown as cros. +oil and groundwater ollution continues to be a roblem in all arts of the world.

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