Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the production of genetically modified crops.
Hint: GM Crops are genetically modified crops that can be made by transferring desirable characteristics and embedding a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species.
Complete step-by-step answer: Examples of genetically modified crops include corn, alfalfa, sugar beet, corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, etc. Advantages of GM crops: -These plants increase the productivity of crops by having resistance against plant pathogens. Also, these crops are made to be highly tolerant of environmental conditions. -Indian farmers are still practicing traditional methods of seeding and cultivation, which requires scientific moves for raising their production. But using GM crops reduces the use of pesticide and insecticide which is great for the betterment of the food supply. -These crop varieties are added with vitamins and minerals. Thus, such modified crops have enhanced nutritional quality and yield. For example, golden rice is enhanced in vitamin A content and is a GM crop. - It can produce more in a small area of land and feed a rapidly increasing population because it shows dramatically increased yields. - In 2002 India developed Bt cotton seeds and has reduced the use of pesticides. India is now the largest cotton producer in the world because of the introduction of Bt cotton. Bt cotton produces a common soil bacterium, Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) which is a natural pest repelling bacteria that is toxic to many worms and pests. Disadvantages of GM crops: - The production imposes high risks to the disruption of ecosystem and biodiversity because the desirable traits produced can result in the favoring of one organism. - It increases the cost of cultivation and more inclined towards the marketing of farming i.e. the transgenic crops endanger farmers and the trade. - The excessive production of GM crops will be rendered ineffective over time because the pests that these toxins used to deter might grow resistance towards them. -The presence of transgenes in commercial crops can endanger native species. For example, the Bt toxin for pollen might endanger pollinators like honeybees. Also, such crops cause issues in human health by supplying allergens and transferring antibiotic resistance markers.
Note: -An allergen is any substance that is most often eaten or inhaled, and the immune system reacts abnormally to this substance. Common allergens are dust, pollen, and pet dander. - Genetically modified crops first used in the U.S. in the mid-1990s. They are engineered for insect resistance and herbicide tolerance.
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