25 October 2009

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Know about Genetically modified (GM) food- GE food or BT food-

Know about Genetically modified (GM) food- GE food or BT food-
Does GM food or BT food is good for human consumption?
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering
What is called as genetically modified organism?

A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
What is the meaning of genetic engineering?
Genetic engineering is different from traditional breeding. Genetic engineering uses the techniques of molecular cloning and transformation to alter the structure and characteristics of genes directly. This technology is used in the crop development. The term "genetic engineering" was coined in Jack Williamson's science fiction novel Dragon's Island, published in 1951.
These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes.
In the past, plants have been improved by breeding them with other, better plants - a natural process that takes years. However, with GM foods, it is done quickly and artificially,
GMO foods resist insect pests, bacterial or fungal infection, resist herbicides to improve yield, have longer freshness than otherwise, or have superior nutritional value.
GMOs have widespread applications. They are used in biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine (e.g. gene therapy), and agriculture.
various genetically engineered microorganisms are routinely used as sources of enzymes for the manufacture of a wide variety of processed foods. These include alpha-amylase from bacteria, which converts starch to simple sugars, chymosin from bacteria or fungi that clots milk protein for cheese making, and pectinesterase from fungi, which improves fruit juice clarity.
GM crops are genetically manipulated so that they die after one season and
cannot reproduce. This is referred to as the terminator gene in the plant. It is
promoted as a means of preventing transgenic contamination to other crops. This
has proved to be false. It actually spreads not only male sterility but also
herbicide tolerance in other crops. The pollen from the crops carrying the
Terminator will infect the fields of farmers who either reject, or cannot afford the technology. Any farmer whose crops are contaminated will then have to label all their
produce as "gm contaminated". Monsanto can also sue them for the theft of genes.
The largest share of the GMO crops planted globally is owned by Monsanto Company.
GMO technology is patented, today many farmers and many people are thinking and using it by saying it is cheaper, but they do not understand the risk that in future it will create the monopoly and that time these companies will show the true colors. Its marketing trick first give it free and cheap and once we are used to them, charged the more. Traditionally, farmers in all nations saved their own seed from year to year. Allowing farmers to follow this practice with genetically modified seed would result in seed developers losing the ability to profit from their breeding work. Therefore, genetically modified seed are subject to licensing by their developers in contracts that are written to prevent farmers from following this traditional practice. It is reported that Supreme court of Canada has ruled in favor of GM company regarding patent right where farmer has planted GM seeds.
Following are the names of foods for which GM version is available.
1. Soybeans
2. Corn, field
3. Cotton (cottonseed oil)
4. Hawaiian papaya
5. Tomatoes
6. Potatoes
7. Rapeseed (Canola)
8. Sugar cane
9. Sugar beet
10. Sweet corn
11. Rice
12. Brinjal
Several states of Australia had placed bans on planting GM food crops.
Tasmania has extended its moratorium until November 2014.
In New Zealand, no genetically modified food is grown and no medicines containing live genetically modified organisms have been approved for use.
Mendocino County, California became the first county in the United States to ban the production of GMOs. The measure passed with a 57% majority. Nevertheless, many areas with more farmers they have allowed GMO foods. Supervisors in the agriculturally rich counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Solano, Sutter, and Tulare have passed resolutions supporting the practice.
A 2008 review published by the Royal Society of Medicine noted that GM foods have been eaten by millions of people worldwide for over 15 years, with no reports of ill effects.
Organic Consumers Association, and Greenpeace claim the long-term health risks, which GM could pose, or the environmental risks associated with GM, have not yet been adequately investigated. They also claim that truly independent research in these areas is systematically blocked by the GM corporations, which own the GM seeds and reference materials.
Today also every scientist will agree that we do not know 100% advantages and disadvantages of every food we eat which is grown naturally, so how can we know 100% that what will happen after 100 years of GM consumption, today the foods which we eat are eaten by humans from thousands of years and we know there side effects or we are still learning about there side effects.
Currently in USA as well as other nations as per end user agreements, independent research is not allowed; they cannot publish the studies.
Scientific American noted that several studies that were initially given the "go ahead" by seed companies were later blocked from publication when they returned "unflattering" results. While recognizing that seed companies intellectual property rights need to be protected, Scientific American calls the practice dangerous and has called for the restrictions on research in the End-user agreements to be lifted immediately and for the EPA to require, as a condition of approval, that independent researchers have unfettered access to GM products for testing.
Professor Bela Darvas of Debrecen University was refused Mon 863 Bt corn to use in his studies after previously publishing that a different variety of Monsanto corn was lethal to two Hungarian protected insect species and an insect classified as a rare.
A well-known case of a GM plant that did not reach the market due to it producing an allergic reaction was a new form of soybean intended for animal feed.
In November 2005, a pest-resistant field pea developed by the Australian CSIRO for use as a pasture crop was shown to cause allergic lung damage in mice. Work on this variety was immediately halted.
In November 2008, a report by Greenpeace published results of a report linking a Monsanto Company produced strain of transgenic maize to lower levels of fertility in mice.
Many studies claim that GM foods do not give more produce as they claim.
One study by Charles Benbrook, Chief Scientist of the Organic Center, found that genetically engineered Roundup Ready soybeans do not increase yields (Bendrook, 1999). The report reviewed over 8,200 university trials in 1998 and found that Roundup Ready soybeans yielded 7-10% less than similar natural varieties. In addition, the same study found that farmers used 5-10 times more herbicide (Roundup) on Roundup Ready soybeans than on conventional ones.
In Europe, Japan, China, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and some African nations GM fruits and vegetables or processed food containing GM ingredients have to be labeled to let consumers make a well-informed choice. Due to increasing consumer pressure, food companies are selling GM free milk even in the USA, the Mecca of GM crops.

Suggested Reading - India and GM Food- Bt Brinjal


dinesh,  October 25, 2009  

waiting for next post.

Neha October 25, 2009  

very informative post sm..

Aswani October 25, 2009  

very interesting and informative post. Genetically modified food may look very promising at present but then I can make out from your post that it can pose a grave threat in the times to comes. So, better stop its production for the time being.

Aswani October 25, 2009  

And yes brother, A very happy belated diwali to you too. Hope you had a great fun. Keep smiling and Keep in touch :)

sm,  October 26, 2009  


sm,  October 26, 2009  


Insignia October 26, 2009  

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

Mary October 26, 2009  

Some excellent information, but some of your facts are incorrect. For example "GM crops are genetically manipulated so that they die after one season and cannot reproduce." Not so.

Please keep up the good work, Thanks,

sm,  October 26, 2009  


sm,  October 26, 2009  

thanks for your visit and comment.
i will clarify the question which you have raised.
For example "GM crops are genetically manipulated so that they die after one season and cannot reproduce." Not so.
i will explain this point.thanks for reading it.

sm,  October 27, 2009  

your point is clarified and i have posted about it.please read it.thanks for your visit and reading it.
here is the link

sm,  October 27, 2009  

your profile is not publicly shared.so i can not send you link. I hope now you got the your point cleared,and if there is any other doubt please ask it.
As a owner of this blog i take maximum precaution to post only true information as much as possible.