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Genetically Modified Crops

Kaushik Chanda Ph.D


Assistant Professor
Organic Chemistry Division, SAS,
VIT University, Vellore – 14.
Genetically Modified Crops
• The Genetically Modified Crops are the foods that have a gene extracted from a
living thing and placed in a different food by a scientist or an expert.

The main aim of Genetically Modified Crops


 To create a food that is able to survive even if any harmful chemicals or
pesticides or herbicides are sprayed.
 To make food stay fresh for a long time.

Gene technology is a type of modern biotechnology that makes use of living


things to make or change product.

Some of genetically modified crops and food are


 Corn, Tomato, potatoes, Alfalfa,
 Soyabeans Rice, wheat, poultry,

Processed Foods:
• Convenience Foods, Condiments, Juice Soda,
Vitamins Chocolate Many frozen meals

Meal Mixes: Frozen Pizza, Canned Foods, Food in Jars, Soups, Baby Foods, Bread, Cereal,
Genetically Modified Crops: Advantages:
Advantages:

Gene technology is one of the best solutions to the problem of world hunger.

 It can increase production and lower the cost of food.


 Less pesticides, fertilizers and water needed.

 Can boost immunity and develop inbuilt vaccines for livestock and poultry.

 Crops could be grown in areas suffering from drought and salt.

 G M crops are faster and cheaper.

 G M Foods are often thought to be more nutritious, tasting better and last
longer.

 Many people rely on genetically modified foods for medicines,


 e.g.,insulin for diabetics.

 Genetically Modified Foods are safe.


Genetically Modified Crops: Disadvantages:

Disadvantages:
• Most food manafacturers are unable or unwilling to provide information on
whether or not their products contain Genetically Modified ingredients

• GM Crops can contaminate other crops simply by pollen being blown by wind
from one field to another.

• Sometimes G M crops have allergenic effects.

• New viruses could evolve from the mass production of GM crops.

• The more gene technology is used, worse the environment.

• Pests may develop resistance to GM crops that have been designed to kill
them.

GM crops may produce ecological side effects.


What is Bt brinjal?
What is Bt brinjal?
Bt Brinjal is being developed by Monsanto, a multinational company based in
the USA partnership with in India by M/s Mahyco [Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds
Company]
Bt brinjal which gives more resistant to Brinjal plant against insects.

• In technical terms Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a gene


[Cry 1Ac] from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis.

• The insertion of the gene into the Brinjal cell in young cotyledons has been
done through an Agro bacterium-mediated vector, along with other genes like
promoters, markers etc.

• This genetic insertion is said to give the Brinjal plant resistance against
lepidopteron insects.

• It is reported that upon ingestion of the Bt toxin by the insect, there would be
disruption of digestive processes, ultimately resulting in the death of the
insect.
Bt Brinjal in India
Bt Brinjal in India
• Bt Brinjal is being developed in India by M/s Mahyco [Maharashtra Hybrid
Seeds Company].

• On February 9, 2010 the government of India officially announced that it needs


some more time to release Bt brinjal.

• Indian Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that there is no over-
riding urgency to introduce Bt Brinjal in India.

• The Bt brinjal is a suite of transgenic brinjals (also known as an eggplant or


aubergine) created by inserting a crystal gene (Cry1Ac) from the soil bacterium
Bacillus thuringiensis into the genome of various brinjal cultivars.

• The Bt brinjal has been developed to give resistance against lepidopteron


insects, in particular Brinjal Fruit.
• No GM Brinjal has been released for an advanced stage of field trials in open
conditions anywhere in the world.
• It was approved for commercialization in India in 2009, but after a public outcry the
Indian government applied a moratorium on its release. and not a permanent ban, saying
that “until we arrive at a political, scientific and societal consensus, this moratorium will
remain”.
Why BT brinjal in India is banned after controversy
Why BT brinjal in India is banned after controversy and why people are
opposing it?

Controversy:
Several studies on Bt crops in particular and GM crops in general show that
there are many potential health hazards in foods bio-engineered in this
manner.

GM-fed animals in various studies have shown


problems with growth, organ development and damage,
Immune responsiveness etc

• With Bt crops, a recent study from Madhya Pradesh in India shows adverse
human health impacts in farm and factory workers with allergies caused by Bt
Cotton.
• Itching skin, eruptions on the body, swollen faces etc., were also reported,
correlated with levels of exposure to Bt Cotton.

• Organizations like Greanpeace have been in the forefront of the campaign


opposing the GM variety of Brinjal.