Supporting 21st Century Science GCSE

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GM Foods

Looking for information about GM foods?

Genetically modified (GM) food is a term mainly associated with the production of crops. These crops have had their genetic structure altered by the introduction of genes from other plants, animals or bacteria.

"Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods made from genetically modified organisms (GMO) that have had their DNA altered through genetic engineering. GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. The most common modified foods are derived from plants: soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil.

Controversies surrounding GM foods and crops commonly focus on human and environmental safety, labeling and consumer choice, intellectual property rights, ethics, food security, poverty reduction, and environmental conservation."
(Source: Wikipedia)

In the 1980's there was increased interest in the process of transfer of genetic information from o­ne organism to another. The process known as "gene splicing" was developed, in which new genetic information was added to form new protein with new traits. This enabled scientists to be able to develop new crops which were more resistant to disease and/or insects.

In the USA, most of the GM crops are soybeans or corn. Almost 70% of the total GM crop production in the world occurs in the United States.

As with many new scientific research, especially those involving genetic manipulation, there are arguments for and against the developments

Further information:

GM Crops Debate
Biotechnology in Crops: Issues for the Developing World
Genetically Modified Foods: Are They a Risk to Human/Animal Health?
Foods Standards Agency:GM Debate
Seeds of Deception
Food under the Microscope
GM Crops Debate

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