Should we fear GMOs? Take a look – all our food is genetically modified

    26 Aug 2021

    Over the past couple of weeks, you definitely ate products from cereals, the existence of which was not included in the plans of Mother Nature, as well as cloned fruits and even plants which ancestors were subjected to intentional radioactive irradiation. On all this food, there were no “GMO” labels. Perhaps they even had an Organic sticker, and you bought them in the farm shop for a triple price.

    So what is the truth in this GMO story? Let’s have a look at the Knife article.


    The dogmas of fighters against GMOs clutter the essence of the debate about what degree of genetic manipulations is considered acceptable, the postgraduate student of the London University of Queen Mary James Borrell writes. Modified food is the question of which the views are divided by polar: you support GMOs on store shelves, or you’re against the middle of this dispute. This incorrect interpretation of the technology of gene modification as a binary decision (either it is or not) has already led to a variety of prohibitions in several European countries and served to deepen the abyss between supporters and opponents of anthropogenic changes. Few people think that there are almost no food products in the world whose genes escaped this or that form of modification by humanity.

    Between the Clah Natural Tomato of the Grandmother from the Last Siberian village and the tobacco bushes, which scientists have forced to glow in the dark, lies a wide range of more than a public discussion of up to three GMO letters.

    (Not) natural selection

    Remember the carrot, corn or watermelon – all that you are happy to eat in summer without a shadow of fear. However, if you look at their ancestors, it is unlikely to admit your favorite healthy breakfast in them. Plant Effective usually occurs on the principle of selection of advantageous signs, in particular, high yield. Many generations of such selection lead to the emergence of genetic varieties, the likelihood of which is extremely small in nature.

    Genetic duplicates

    An unconscious selection, which our ancestors involved, included the process that we discovered only recently. While a person receives half a chromosomal set from each of the parents, some organisms may contain two or more complete chromosomal duplicate sets. This phenomenon is called polyproid, it is distributed among plants and is often expressed in hyperitiveness of such signs as the fetus size.

    Many agricultural crops have already been (unconsciously and absolutely natural) are genetically modified to organisms with a higher degree of polymploy. Apples and ginger, for example, triploid, potatoes and cabbage – tetraploid, some varieties of strawberry octoplodes, that is, they have eight sets of chromosomes, while you still have two.

    Cloning of plants

    “Cloning” is a word that many are alarming. No one wants to eat “cloned” food. But let’s forget about the boulevard stars and remember the school lessons of biology: the most powerful reproduction (the method when the new generation develops from the somatic cells of the parental individual without participation) is the key staging of survival of the set of plant species. And the peasants of the centuries used it to receive a more generous and tasty harvest.

    As soon as the plant appeared with the desired characteristics – for example, the banana-resistant, steady weather and pests – the most helpful reproduction came to the rescue, allowing you to grow duplicates. This process can be launched naturally, growing new plants from the mustache or sliced ​​pieces of the maternal tuber or provoking artificially with plant hormones. Effective bananas have long lost numerous vile bones, which allowed their ancestors to multiply. When you eat a banana today, you eat a clone. How many clones did you eat this month?

    Provocated mutations

    Selection – both natural and arranged by a person – operates with genetic variations existing within the framework. If the characteristic or sign has never been manifested in nature, it was impossible to withdraw – until the last century.

    To increase the number of variations for selection, in the 1920s, scientists began to expose seeds with chemicals and radiation. Unlike modern GM technologies, this “mutation browning” was not targeted and generated arbitrary mutations. Most of them were useless, but some brought the desired results. More than 1,800 grades of cereals and decorative plants, including subspecies of rice, wheat, cotton, and peanuts appeared in this way and spread through the territory of fifty countries. Mutational selection laid the foundations of the green revolution – a set of changes in world agriculture, which in the 20th century will be removed from hunger millions of people and allowed much to expand the diet of the inhabitants of many countries. With the help of the genetic selection of the cereal laureate of the Nobel Prize Norman Blowug, according to the head of the UN Food Program, saved more lives than other in the entire history of the planet.

    When you eat pink grapefruit or prepare pasta from solid wheat varieties, you consume the results of these artificial chemical and radiation mutations, the results that are – surprise! – sold in organic food shops, officially certified and wrapped in craft paper.

    GM Screening

    This technology of genetic modification does not provide direct interference in plants or animal cells. It is used to scan “natural” samples on properties such as resistance to pests or high yield potential.

    Screening, for example, allowed scientists to determine in advance which of the ash of the device to the top dryer. In the future, we will be able to plant forests only from strong trees and call it “genetically informed selection.”

    Cisgenesis and Transgenesis

    This is what most people mean by speaking of GMOs. The genes of one plant are artificially implanted in another to increase the yield, resistance to heat, or drought to grow fruits with a significant content of vitamin or other helpful substances. With the use of traditional selection methods, decades would take such changes. Coppiest gene is a way to cut this long way.

    Cisgenez is when the genes are taken from a representative of the same or nearby species. Transgenesis is the introduction of non-settlement genes, and this is the only technology from those considered in this article, which allows the body that could not appear naturally.

    Since the 1990s, several cereals were derived, which contained Bacillus Thuringiensis soil bacterium genes. They received from it resistance to pests, against which pesticides are usually used. Thus, Transgenesis served as an alternative to an increase in yield, which, on the one hand, saved millions of lives, and on the other hand, caused sickness and death.

    Transgenesis causes the most significant discussions – due to the concerns that the time will reveal the negative consequences of their consumption for human health, as well as the stable genes “run away and jump over” (physically, if we are talking about animals) to other species, thereby violating the balance of the ecosystem. Scientists are developing “genetic firewalls” that will kill modified individuals as soon as they leave the controlled artificial environment to avoid the latter.

    So what opinion is correct?

    All described methods continue to be used. Even transgenic plants are widely grown around the world, and this has been continuing for a decade. They are also carefully studied in laboratories, and it is entirely correct. But this technology promises so much that it deserves campaigns to increase scientific literacy among the general public since its potential will reach its heyday.

    Let’s be honest in front of themselves – by 2050, the population of the Earth will exceed 9 billion. The impact of such a number of people on the environment will be huge. GMOs have the potential to improve their health, feed them and reduce the pressure of the growing population of our species on nature. No matter how uncomfortable, we did not feel at the sight of three of these letters; they deserve a subtle and informative discussion – for our younger brothers, children, and grandchildren.Can cloning save animals from extinction? Take a look at this article.

    Tags food genes GMO

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