<p style=”margin-bottom: 13px; text-align: center;”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><u><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:14.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms): TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN?</span></span></span></u></b></span></span></span></p>

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<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>Genetically engineered food promises to deal with the nutritional deficiencies people harbor all over the world. Examples of GM food range from <b><i><u>golden rice which is vitamin A rich, bananas which are used to administer vaccines, tomatoes &amp; broccoli which are rich with cancer fighting chemicals or fortified cooking oil and salt</u></i></b>. GM foods certainly seem to a promising technology in the field of agriculture &amp; health. They have also been condemned all over the world as &ldquo;<b><i><u>frankenfoods</u></i></b>&rdquo; which is an equivalent term for a monster. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>Genetic engineering involves the use of <b><i><u>cross-breeding</u></i></b>, <b><i><u>radiation &amp; chemicals </u></i></b>to induce the desired characteristics in a certain food crop. The whole debate around GM foods is centered on the safety of their consumption. Though, ill effects have not been reported yet due to GM food consumption, their long term effect is the issue in question &amp; the human lifetime is considered to be too short a time span to actually generalize about the effects of GM crops. Apart from these applications, genetic engineering also has wide applications in the pharmaceutical industry. &nbsp;The issue concerning genetically modified organisms is that, it may prove toxic to human beings in the long run; though no concrete evidences have been brought about in this regard.</span></span></span> <span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>Potential health risks to humans include the possibility <b><i><u>of exposure to new allergens</u></i></b> in genetically modified foods, as well as the transfer of antibiotic-resistant genes to gut flora. Horizontal gene transfer of pesticide, herbicide, or&nbsp;antibiotic resistance&nbsp;to other organisms would not only put humans at&nbsp;risk, but it would also cause ecological imbalances.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p><span><img alt=”” src=”https://i.filecdn.in/476edenias/7-1604392387671.jpg” /></span></p>

<p><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>The brighter side of the use of GM crops cannot be completely ignored. GM technology allows us to grow crops which are <b><u>drought resistant, heat resistant, crops of enhanced nutritional value, increased yield, reduced costs for food or&nbsp;drug&nbsp;production, reduced need for pesticides, enhanced nutrient composition and food quality, resistance to pests and&nbsp;disease, greater food security, and medical benefits to the world&#39;s growing&nbsp;population</u></b>. Advances have also been made in developing crops that mature faster and tolerate aluminum, boron, salt, drought, frost, and other environmental stressors, allowing plants to grow in conditions where they might not otherwise flourish.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><u><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>Bt Cotton: A Successful example</span></span></span></u></b></span></span></span></p>

<p><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>Bt cotton, for years, have been cultivated on a large scale in India. It is genetically modified to provide protection against the pest, bollworm. The toxic gene sequence is extracted from <b><i><u>Bacillus thuringenesis</u></i></b> (soil bacteria) &amp; inserted into the cotton seed. When the seed starts growing into a plant, the toxic gene expresses itself and when the pests try to eat the leaves of the plant, they get killed because the leaves also have the toxicity of the Bt gene. Bt cotton has been successfully used across nations for a while now. However, in the recent years Bt cotton is under attack by the pink bollworm. This has again raised concerns about the viability of Bt crops. Similarly, sweet corn (Mon863), Bt Brinjal &amp; other food crops have also been produced.</span></span></span></p>

<p><span><img alt=”” src=”https://i.filecdn.in/476edenias/8-1604392522011.png” /></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span lang=”EN-US” style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif”>Many industries stand to benefit from additional GMO research. For instance, a number of <b><i>microorganisms</i></b> are being considered as future <b><i><u>clean fuel producers</u></i></b> and <b><i><u>bio-degraders</u></i></b>. In addition, genetically modified plants may someday be used to produce <b><i><u>recombinant vaccines</u></i></b>. In fact, the concept of an <b><i>oral vaccine</i></b> expressed in plants (fruits and vegetables) for direct consumption by individuals is being examined as a possible solution to the spread of disease in underdeveloped countries, one that would greatly reduce the costs associated with conducting large-scale vaccination campaigns. Work is currently underway to develop plant-derived vaccine candidates in potatoes and lettuce for <b><i><u>hepatitis B virus (HBV)</u></i></b>, enterotoxigenic &nbsp;<i>Escherichia coli</i>&nbsp;(ETEC), and Norwalk virus. Scientists are also looking into the production of other commercially valuable proteins in plants, such as <b><i><u>spider silk protein</u></i></b> and polymers that are used in surgery or tissue replacement (Ma&nbsp;<i>et al</i>., 2003). Genetically modified animals have even been used to grow transplant tissues and human transplant organs, a concept called <b><i><u>xenotransplantation</u></i></b>. The rich variety of uses for GMOs provides a number of valuable benefits to humans, but many people also worry about potential risks. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

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