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Transgenic crops

Transgenic plants are created by transferring a gene or genes from a different species (or kingdoms) to a plant with the aim of producing one with a preferred characteristic. For example, Bt gene transferred from a bacterium into a corn plant such that it will produce its own insecticide. The preferred characteristic, carried by gene/s, is artificially inserted using the recombinant DNA technology in a laboratory instead of the plant developing it through a natural process. Plants that contain genes that have been transferred are called genetically modified crops. Those who produce transgenic crops cite advantages of using them such as (1) increased yields for the world’s growing population especially in view of production problems that climate change could bring, (2) decreased use of pesticides to address issues on environmental pollution and cost of pesticides, (3) production of crops with increased nutrient contents. On the other hand, disadvantages of using transgenic crops that have been cited includes its possible effects on human health, e.g., allergies. There is also a concern about its possibility of damaging the natural environment, e.g., when pollen from Bt corn is ingested by non-target organism and causes death or problems in its development.


More information on Transgenic Crops can be found at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenic_plant

http://www.cls.casa.colostate.edu/TransgenicCrops/what.html

http://www.pmac.net/miguel.htm

http://www.scq.ubc.ca/transgenic-crops-how-genetics-is-providing-new-ways-to-envision-agriculture/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/

   
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