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Genetically Modified Organisms in Agricultural Production.

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Presentation on theme: "Genetically Modified Organisms in Agricultural Production."— Presentation transcript:

1 Genetically Modified Organisms in Agricultural Production

2 What Are Genetically Modified Organisms Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are one’s with DNA deliberately altered using genetic engineering techniques. Other terms for ‘genetically modified’:  Genetically engineered  Transgenic  Recombinant

3 GMO Background Humans have always taken efforts to increase the productivity of agriculturally important plant and animal species… Prior to the advent of recombinant DNA technology our efforts to increase productivity of these species focused on selective breeding. Genetic modification offers some interesting possibilities for increasing productivity…

4 Selective Breeding Genetic Modification slow imprecise limited set of genes to work with fast precise can introduce novel genes into an organism GMO Background

5 GM crops can be modified to possess desirable traits, such as…  resistance to pests and/or herbicides  greater tolerance for harsh environmental conditions  improved product shelf life  increased nutritional value  production of valuable goods such as drugs

6 Further Benefits of GMOs in Agriculture Higher yielding crops = more efficient use of land Higher profits due to reduced need for pesticides/herbicides Increased shelf life = less waste Enhanced taste and quality Reduced maturation time Increased food security for growing populations

7 Sowing a Gene Revolution, Terri Raney, Prabhu Pingali, Scientific American 297, 104 - 111 (2007), doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0907-104

8 USDA GM Crop Statistics


10 Risks Associated With GMO Usage Safety  Potential human health implications.  Potential environmental impact.  Out-crossing Inevitable out-crossing of transgenic plants with naturally occurring ones. Creation of super-weeds Access and Intellectual Property  Domination of world food production by a few companies and developing countries.

11 Ethics  Tampering with nature by mixing genes among species. Labeling  Not mandatory in some countries (e.g., Canada and the United States).  Mixing GM crops with non-GM confounds labeling attempts. Society  New advances may be skewed to the interests of rich countries. Risks Associated With GMO Usage

12 Biodiversity Bt gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (a soil bacterium) codes for proteins with insecticidal properties Addition of Bt gene into plants including corn, potatoes and cotton to increase resistance to pests Problem…plants producing Bt toxin are releasing toxin in pollen, could negatively impact natural pollinators Risks Associated With GMO Usage

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