What we need to know about GMOs

A GMO or genetically modified organism is a plant or animal whose genetic material has been altered and therefore acquires new properties.

Animals and plants obtained through conventional breeding are in fact also genetically modified, however, at present, the term “GMO” does not cover them.

Genetically modified is accepted to call only that organism whose genes have been changed with the help of genetic engineering – in laboratory conditions by direct impact on DNA.

Usually, DNA /the molecule that stores, transmits and implements the genetic program for the development of living beings/ is affected in the following way.

The sections of DNA /genes/ are carefully studied, and those responsible for the necessary hereditary trait /property/ are selected from them.

This gene is isolated, then inserted into a so-called carrier vector. For example, for the genetic modification of some plants, they previously used a plasmid /extracellular DNA entity/from Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

This plasmid is a genetic structure found inside the chromosomes of bacteria, which in nature facilitates the transfer of genes into the plant.

For example, nodules on the roots of leguminous plants have appeared with the help of this plasmid. Bacteria are found there and it is because of this symbiosis that the soil is enriched with nitrogen.

That is, the basis of the method of genetic modification of the organism is a phenomenon adopted by natural scientists.

If the gene succeeds in integrating, the plants with useful properties and absence of deformations are selected from the large amount of mutants. The site of gene integration is checked.

In this regard, much more is known about the properties of the genetically modified variety than about the one obtained by chemical and radiation mutagenesis /.

Since 1950, most varieties of cultivated plants, that is, those that are grown on a mass scale, have been obtained by irradiation or application of chemical mutagens/.

Currently, microorganisms, plants, and animals, including insects and fish, can be genetically modified, however, most often in the media and in everyday life, the term GMO is used for food products of plant origin.

The main question that concerns every single person is how the emergence of genetically modified organisms affect nature and man:

• Does the use of GMOs harm human health?;

• Does it harm biodiversity?;

• Does it harm agriculture and the economy in general?

Ethical questions also occupy a certain place in the discussion – for example, how correct is it for man to interfere in the affairs of nature and play the role of creator?;

Arguments “For”

Genetic engineering allows selective effects on genes, an organism with a programmed set of positive properties is obtained, and already in the process of creation the result is visible, by “removing” unnecessary properties.< /p>

Traditional cultivation, on the contrary, leads to a change in some properties of the body – for example, as a result of human action, corn has become much larger, having lost a large part of its content of useful fats.

Thanks to the traditional selection, the tomatoes began to ripen evenly, but at the expense of this, they lost their sweet, sugary taste and juiciness.

Also thanks to genetic engineering, food products with higher nutritional value are created.

Arguments “Against”

Genetic engineering is a fairly young industry and cannot yet fit into the current economy.

Farmers and farms accustomed to growing traditional or as they call them “organic” products fear that GMOs may displace traditional foods due to their higher adaptability.

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