Genetic Engineering Essay

965 words - 4 pages

Genetic Engineering

Most people take for granted the food that they consume each and every day will be safe and nutritious. When they wake up in the morning they do not have to think about getting enough food to survive the day. In order for the agriculture industry, that produces food and clothing for everyone, to keep up with our growing population it needs to utilize new technology. Agriculture has to find ways to produce more crops while many fertile acres of land are lost to development. Many people who like to eat the food produced would like to do away with genetic engineering; this would lead to lack of food and increased starvation around the world.

Genetic engineering is the artificial moving of genes from one species to another. Genes are special chemicals that work as sets of blueprints to determine an organism's traits. Moving genes from one organism to another moves those traits. This gene transfer allows traits that would never naturally occur in a certain species to be inserted into the DNA of that species. Scientists can take a gene for blue coat color from a sea urchin and transplant it into a brown horse to get a blue horse. In nature the only way you could get a blue horse is if a line of horses already contain the gene for blue coat color. Genetic engineering is a radically new technology for changing the traits of organisms by substituting genetic material that has been altered outside of cells. This process allows scientists to rearrange and change genetic material before transfer and may one day lead to the transplanting of genes not found in nature but made in a laboratory. Through this altering of genes crops can be produced that are safer for the consumer.

Transplanted genes develop crops that are resistant to environmentally friendly herbicides and pesticides. This allows farmers to have excellent weed and insect control while not harming the environment. These traits also increase the crop yield because the crops are not competing with weeds or getting eaten by insects. An increase in yield provides more grain for livestock and exporting. Through these benefits, genetic engineering is feeding more people with less land, labor, and money.

One example of a genetically alter crop is Roundup Ready soybeans. Roundup Ready soybeans have been developed by Monsanto to provide farmers with a new method for weed control. Weeds cause the crops to grow slower and produce less while making harvesting difficult. Roundup Ready soybeans are genetically changed to be immune to the chemical Roundup that kills all other crops and weeds. This trait allows farmers to reduce herbicide use while controlling weeds better, reduce herbicide costs, and use an environmentally friendly herbicide like Roundup. While Roundup Ready soybeans are the same nutritionally and composition wise as other soybeans, using Roundup instead of traditional herbicides is much safer on humans and animals. Roundup does not harm water quality and...

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