Wednesday, 15 May 2013

5.15 evaluate the potential for using genetically modified plants to improve food production (illustrated by plants with improved resistance to pests)

Genetically modified plants are ones with desired characteristics which are meant to enhance a crop.

They may have DNA which gives them more nutritional value: like golden rice which is rice with carotene in. This will benefit a population which eats a lot of rice by giving them a better diet.

Plants may also have DNA which makes them more resistant: for example genetically modified soya plants. This means that a broad spectrum herbicide that kills many different types of plant can be spread on the crops to kill weeds; where as before many different types of herbicides would have to be spread to avoid killing the crop (time consuming/ expensive.)

Although GM plants appear to be only of benefit, there are people who claim side effects observed in lab animals such as: sterility; infant mortality; allergies; stunted growth. Another disadvantage would be that a broad spectrum herbicide that can be spread on GM crops will kill many plants in the wild not just the weeds  threatening the crops.


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