Considerations For The Genetic Modificaiton Of Wheat

2233 words - 9 pages

Biology Assignment

Genetically Modified Foods

Thomas Hodge

Genetically Modified Wheat
Wheat is hugely important in the world's food supply. About 600 million tonnes of wheat is produced each year. That adds up to 90 kg for every person on earth. Septoria, Fusarium and common bunt are fungal diseases that often cause problems for wheat growers. These fungal diseases can spread rapidly when conditions are mild and moist. These are just some of the things that effect wheat. The Growing of wheat also has a large impact on the environment and the cycles of matter because of the large usage of fertilizers and pesticides. Faster growth, more nutritious wheat, and better tasting food are just some of the characteristic that can be improved in genetically modified food.
Genetic engineering opens the door to new methods for managing Fusarium and other fungal diseases. Scientists have developed genetic approaches to conferring resistance to fungal diseases and are testing their effectiveness on wheat. Field trials have proved very successful in many countries, including countries in Europe, GM wheat plants are resistant to fungal infection and thereby produce grains won’t be laden with dangerous toxins.
Crops can be modified to be resistant to specific herbicides; this makes it much easier to control troublesome weeds. Farmers can simply apply the weed killer to a crop field, killing the unwanted plants and leaving the food crop unaffected. For example, GM oilseed rape the source of canola oil is resistant to one of the chemical that are widely used to control weeds. The same process can now be done with genetically modified wheat crops hence this will save time and money that has previously be needed to be spent.
One of the harder things to get right in our diet with the accessibility to processed foods is getting the essential vitamins and minerals, this is even harder in third world but with new technology wheat can be engineered to produce larger amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, helping to solve nutrition problems in some parts of the world. They can also be altered to change the amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and saturated and unsaturated fats that they contain. This could lead to the production of wheat designed specifically for a healthy diet for all consumers. Wheat can also be engineered to taste better, which could encourage people to eat more healthy foods.
We take water out of the system to irrigate crops and we add substances to the water intentionally or not. As precipitation falls on the ground and moves into rivers and creeks, it picks up a whole range of pollutants. In rural areas these pollutants may include farm pesticides, herbicides , fertilizers and improperly handled manure. Modified wheat does not require large amounts of herbicides and fertilizers this means that there will be less contamination of water ways, lakes and dams. Genetically modified wheat has also been changed to be...

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