Negative Impact of Genetically Modified Crops

Genetic engineering or genetic modification, thus, involves the manipulation of genes within a species, and may also involve the transfer of genes—and thus the characteristics governed by those genes—from one species to another. Spontaneous alteration of genes takes place naturally and sometimes with no effect. A spontaneous alteration can lead to the development of both positive and negative characteristics. The method is not particularly good if the intention is to create specific changes.

Genetically modified foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms, (GMOs). Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. Genetic engineering goals in agriculture include improving crop production and introduction of new traits, such as enhanced nutrients, temperature resistance, or the ability to grow in saltier soils. Certain characteristics may allow a genetically modified (GM) crop to be grown, harvested, or shipped at lower cost or with less Introduction damage and may allow the crop to be grown using less pesticide.

One of the first and still the most widespread uses of GM crop technology was the development of crops resistant to common insect pests Bacillus thuringiensis (abbreviated as Bt),which is a common soil bacterium and releases some lethal protein. In this process, first the desired genetic material is isolated from the desired plant or organism, then it is amplified and the final step involves the insertion of the genetic material into the host plant/crop to produce a genetically modified crop through different methods.

Crops may yield entirely new products that are not normally derived from traditional crops—such as medicines, in some cases. The process of genetic engineering point to the potential of GM crops to improve human health and increase environmental protection. However, there are certain risks of GM crops, which may outweigh their benefits. The issues surrounding the genetic engineering of crops can be a powerful learning context for teaching ideas about the nature of science, genetics, and the use of technology.

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