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Genetically Modified Organisms Changing Our Climate

1141 words - 5 pages

Cassidy Sanchez

Exxon Valdez

Topic #68

Genetically Modified Organisms Changing our Climate

Introduction

“Genetically Modified Organisms”, or in other words GMO, is a method of altering mirco-organisms which include plants, fish, yeast, bacteria and mammals. These organisms have been engineered with increased carbon capacity and a smaller need for nitrogen fertilizers. These organisms are made from the DNA of bacteria and the DNA of other plants and animals. Thus genetically diverse, these various combinations cannot naturally happen in nature. All GMO’s are created to defy any herbicide or insecticide it comes in contact with. GMO’s are the origin of genetically modified foods that we see every day.

Creation of GMO’s

How do you genetically modify an organism? Genetically Modified Organisms are created in many different ways. First, scientists identify the gene or genetic material that could solve the problem and study the genetic makeup of the plant or animal. Second, copy the needed trait from a “donor” organism and implant it into the DNA of the plant of animals that needs it. Finally, plant the seed or raise the animal to see if it worked. Some scientists start the process by genetically engineering bacteria. This “gene shuffling” and other modifications made to the bacteria are then transferred to the target organisms such as plants, fish, mammals and yeast. These modifications require the work of thousands of scientists who are conducting various labs. Genetic modifications have been happening for over forty years.

GMO’s and Climate Change

Although considered faster and cheaper, this approach to providing other alternative resources to food is slowly but significantly drying up our plant and is compromising human health. Because of the increase in genetically modified organisms being planted or created the soil on Earth is diminishing at over thirteen percent rate. This diminish in soil is depleting faster than it can be restored. Studies show that over the last century, we have lost about seventy five percent of the world’s crop varieties. In Figure 1, GMO’s have also contributed to the abnormal drought percentage in the United States. Corn and Soy are two popular cops that are taking over grasslands in the United States causing them the dry up. This can have an impact on our food supply in the long run.

Benefits to GMO’s

Increased crop yielding is one of the main benefits of genetic engineering. The ability to create more crops allows for costs and the need pesticides to decrease. Crops that are genetically modified also have better nutrient quality thus creating better food. Dr. Mercola said, “Advances have also been made in developing crops that mature faster and tolerate aluminum, boron, salt, drought, frost, and other environmental stressors, allowing plants to grow in conditions where they might not otherwise flourish.” Besides plants, animals have also been genetically modified to infiltrate food...

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