Genetically Modified Eggplant and its Impacts Thesis Sentence: There are contradicting claims regarding the health

and environmental effects of the Bt eggplant, a genetically modified organism developed to avoid the use of insecticide, which leaves the consumers the responsibility to decide whether or not to patronize it. I. Bt eggplant was developed by scientists to avoid the use of spraying insecticides to eggplant, a popular vegetable that is exported by the Philippines to many other countries. A. The Philippines, an agricultural country, exports many of its crops to other countries and one of these crops-for-export is the eggplant B. Eggplant is vegetable popular worldwide due to its high nutritional content and the many, different dishes from which it can be prepared. C. Eggplant farmers use chemical insecticides in order to control the infestation of the fruit and shoot borer but since it is harmful to human health, scientists developed the Bt eggplant. II. Bt eggplant was developed using biotechnology and was intended to reduce the use of insecticides to lessen the negative effects of its use but there are claims that Bt eggplant has negative impacts as well. A. Bt eggplant was developed through the integration of the insecticidal protein Cry1Ac to its chromosomes. B. Bt eggplant is resistant to pests, therefore, reducing the use of insecticides which can cause pollution and can be detrimental to human health.

Despite the claims that Bt eggplant is safe for human consumption and has no negative impacts on the environment. consumers are left to decide whether or not to use patronize it. Scientists still cannot come to an agreement regarding the issue of the safety of Bt eggplant. there are still research results that contradict with these. . hence.C. III.

(Choudhary & Gaur. and eggplant in USA.8% of the labor force and contributes 20% of the gross domestic product or GDP. coffee. and many other eggplant dishes. and some European and ASEAN countries (Encyclopedia of the Nations. It is called brinjal in India. Locally. coconut. pineapple. . farmers depend on excessive use of insecticides which results to the high production cost and buildup of residues of insecticide which poses risk to the health of the farmers and the consumers (Bandopadhyay et al. The country’s primary and secondary agricultural crops such as rice. banana. aubergine in Britain. In the Philippines. Eggplant parmesan from USA. corn. To get rid of the pests. Thus. the Philippines rely on the agricultural sector which comprises 39. 2009). Mallapre Being an agricultural country. it is commonly known as talong. rellenong talong. 2013). however. Caviar d’aubergine from France. Yu Xiang Qiezi from China. tobacco. the crop is popular globally and has a high consumer demand. It is a popular vegetable worldwide and is used in a number of dishes such as Parmigiana di melanzane from Italy. mangoes. sugarcane. and abaca are exported to other countries like the USA. Solanum melongena is a member of the nightshade family Solanaceae. Japan. and Yum Ma-Kuea from Thailand. 2011.Genetically Modified Eggplant and its Impacts By Wencey Anne O. inihaw na talong. The eggplant production. Due to the various ways of preparing the eggplant and its high nutritional value. is severely affected by the infestation of the fruit and shoot borer (Leucinodes orbonalis). we have tortang talong. it became one of the Philippines’ secondary crops exported to other nations (Encyclopedia of the Nations. One of these crops-for-export is the eggplant (Solanum melongena). 2013).

Krishna & Qaim. Scientists from the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (MAHYCO) extracted Cry1Ac gene from Bacillus thuringiensis. The Cry1Ac gene gave this characteristic to this GM crop since it is an insecticidal protein that is noxious to the fruit and shoot borer. (Bandopadhyay et al. reduce the usage of chemical insecticide sprays (Choudhary & Gaur. The main purpose for the development of this genetically modified crop is to control the fruit and shoot borer and at the same time. these transformed cells are developed into a whole plant which is not “agriculturally suitable. 2009). & Sinha. Bt eggplant is a genetically modified (GM) crop that is resistant to the fruit and shoot borer. 2007).” The gene from this transformed organism is then transferred to a hybrid through plant breeding techniques (Bandopadhyay. 2011. Chaudhary. 2011. Choudhary & Gaur. 2009. Choudhary & Gaur. Fakhrul Islam & Norton. Fakhrul Islam & Norton.Choudhary & Gaur. This means more profit to the farmers and lower market price of eggplant. a common soil bacterium. 2009. Another benefit that this technology offers farmers and consumers is the increase in production due to the decrease in production cost and labor cost which are partially determined by insecticide use. Using plant tissue culture. and inserted this gene to the chromosome of an eggplant. 2007). It will also decrease air pollution and the contamination of the soil and . both the farmers and the consumers are protected from illnesses due to exposure to insecticide sprays and consumption of eggplant with insecticide residue. 2007. 2009). To solve the problem of pest infestation of eggplant. This eggplant is called the host and after the integration of the Cry1Ac gene. Krishna & Qaim. scientists resorted to biotechnology and Bt eggplant was produced. Since it reduces the use of insecticides. The product of this process is the Bt eggplant. the cells of the host organism are transformed. increasing the consumption of the crop which is highly nutritious (Choudhary & Gaur. the gene of interest. 2009. 2007).

Aside from these. It has to be ingested and for it to be activated. on the other hand. experienced weight gain.groundwater. a study showed that animals fed with Bt eggplant displayed negative symptoms. It also requires the presence of the specific receptors cadherin and APN. . Despite the potential benefits of Bt eggplant. and a 10 to 14% increase in milk production “as if they were treated by hormone” (Bandopadhyay. Lactating cows.” many people were alarmed due to another claim that cows treated with hormone. specifically the recombinant bovine growth hormone or rBGH. after feeding on Bt eggplant. 2009). study shows that Bt eggplant does not harm non-target organisms because the protein that makes it pest-resistant is a mid-gut toxin with specific requirements for it to function properly. 2011). increase in intake of dry roughage matter. produce milk that when ingested. The increase in milk production in lactating cows seems to be a positive result but since it was said that it was “as if they were treated by hormone. 2009). were observed to suffer from diarrhea. many are still skeptical regarding its safety to human health. Bt eggplant is safe for human consumption. the Bt toxin will not be harmful to them (Choudhary & Gaur. Therefore. the gut must have a suitable pH level of 9. Rats. Since humans and other organisms other than the fruit and shoot borer lack these specific characteristics. Some non-government organizations and even some scientists are against the development of genetically modified organisms and have presented research data to support their claim that genetically modified crops such as the Bt eggplant are harmful to the human health and has negative impacts on the environment. (Choudhary & Gaur. For example.5 or above. decrease in liver weight and body weight. increase in water consumption. may increase the risk for cancer. contradicting the reports of the developers and supporters of the said genetically modified crop.

. the fruit and shoot borer. Even though the developers and supporters of Bt eggplant declare that it is a “state-of-the-art technology which is considered as one of the most safe. it is not yet widely accepted due its possible negative impacts. is like any genetically modified organism. It was developed for the benefit of many but still. many still do not accept this product of biotechnology due to the contradicting reports of some non-government organizations and some scientists about the potential risks to the health of the consumers and threat it poses to the environment. Samuels (2012) said that Bt eggplant may interbreed with the wild varieties. Scientists themselves still do not come to an agreement regarding the safety of crops like Bt eggplant so consumers are left to decide whether or not to patronize such crops. The production of eggplant. The Bt eggplant. transferring the pest-resistance gene. therefore. is still largely affected by its common pest. This has been a problem of many eggplant farmers which they still solve by the application of chemical insecticides despite the availability of the Bt eggplant. 2009). convenient and viable options to control the fruit and shoot borer” (Choudhary & Gaur. specifically the ecological balance and plant biodiversity. one of the major crops of the Philippines and several South Asian countries such as India and Bangladesh. This may result to selective advantage of the hybrids which may cause increased weediness and disruption of the ecological balance and plant biodiversity.Bt eggplant may also have negative impacts on the environment.

U. Is bt brinjal ready for future food? – A critical study.W.pdf Krishna. C. G. The development and regulation of bt brinjal in india (Eggplant/aubergine).3-Gamboa. V. Ramasamy. R.N.ensser. B. B. (2012). (2012). & Vijayaraghavan.html Fakhrul Islam. Retrieved from http://www.Bt eggplant for fruit and shoot borer resistant in bangladesh.cornell. (2007). (2009). and Sinha.. Chaudhary. In . Selvaraj..org/india/PageFiles /446445/GE-Bt-brinjal-revisited. 11.V.pdf Gamboa. Retrieved from http://www. Retrieved from http://www. Indian Journal of Biotechnology. G. K.org/fileadmin/files/3. 238-249 Choudhary. (2007). Potential socio-economic impacts of bt eggplant on india. and Gaur.absp2.nationsencyclopedia. K. (Eds.Reference List Bandopadhyay..W. R.edu/resources/books/documents/socio-economic_book. Field trilas of bt eggplant and biosafety regulations in the philippines.greenpeace.). and Qaim. In Norton.com/economies/Asia-and-the-Pacific/PhilippinesAGRICULTURE. Retrieved from http://www.. Advancing the understanding of biosafety. Philippines — Agriculture. M. Economic and environmental benefits and costs of transgenic crops: Ex-ante assessment.pdf Encyclopedia of the Nations (2013). P. S. K. and Norton.M.

(2012).W.). K.org/india/PageFiles/446445/GE-Btbrinjal. Retrieved from http://www. Ramasamy.edu/resources/books/documents/socioeconomic_book.revisited..Norton. Economic and environmental benefits and costs of transgenic crops: Ex-ante assessment. & Vijayaraghavan. C.cornell.absp2. (Eds.pdf Samuels.N. Genetically engineered bt brinjal and the implications for plant biodiversity – revisited. Retrieved from http://www.pdf .. K. Selvaraj. G.greenpeace. J.

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