Corn GMOs By: Molly Cavan

GMO Corn: GMO Corn is very common around the U.S. A lot of farmers expire meant to find the perfect corn to survive bugs and weather. A common GMO trait in corn is Bacillus thuringiensis or BT.

"Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil bacterium, produces several crystal (Cry) protein toxins that destroy the gut of invading pests, such as larval caterpillars. So far, over 50 cry genes have been identified and found to affect insect orders differently."

But there's a problem with this pesticide. People are starting to worry that BT will render the toxin ineffective over time. And they are scared that pests will develop a resistance to BT.

It all started in the 1860s when Gregor Mendel crossbreed peas and introduced a concept of heredity. And when DNA was discovered several years later, scientists didn't believe it could store that much information. Then years later when it was confirmed that DNA carried all of this, it opened a ton of doors in science.

In 1944, Oswald Avery tentatively identified DNA as the true carrier of molecular information, and his findings were confirmed in 1952. Less than a year later, in 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick described DNA's molecular shape as a double helix. That opened the door to genetic engineering."

In 1972, Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boye found a way to cut and split strands of DNA at different places. It was a success.

Boyer used an enzyme to cut the code for a specific protein and attach it to other DNA. Cohen added a way to introduce these DNA sequences into bacteria and yeast cells. Together the two scientists turned these microbes into hormone factories. In 1976, they founded the new company Genentech and introduced human genes that produce insulin into strains of bacteria. Those bacteria started manufacturing insulin. Next, they manufactured human growth hormone. HGH was used to enable dwarf children to grow to normal size. Before genetic modification techniques, the only source for the drug had been human cadavers."

Gene splitting for food came in the 1990s after it was approved by the FDA. One of the first products was a modified bacteria put in dairy cows to increase their milk production.

PROS TO GMOs:

Some pros to GMOs are it can increase the food supply feeding people who don't have enough food. It also can produce crops to where they survive through winter or build up a tolerance to insects. And it also may make the food better and healthier for us.

Proponents of GM food contend that genetic engineering can help us find sustainable ways to feed people. Specifically, in countries that lack access to nutrient-rich foods. The heartiness of some GM crops makes it so they can grow in marginal environments. The longer shelf life of some GM foods allows them to be shipped to remote areas"

CONS TO GMOs:

Some cons to GMOs are people have allergies and some GMO foods can have something in them that someone is allergic to. And we don't know the long term effects on us. It could be a bad effect. And they also may cause cancer to people. And the prices may go up.

In 2013, the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted a paper that linked the herbicide Roundup and Roundup-tolerant GM corn to cancer and premature death in rats. Due to concerns about the paper, the journal’s editor reviewed the researchers’ raw data and the peer-review process. They found the researchers had used too few rats, the specific strain of rats was prone to cancer, and the results were inconclusive."

GMOS SHOULD NOT BE MADE ANYMORE:

I believe GMOs should not be made anymore. One reason is that I have an allergy myself and the fact that I can have a reaction is kind of scary. And we don't know the long term effects. What if the effects are bad and cause something like a new cancer. And some foods have antibiotic genes in them which might link to some deaths. But scientists are still unsure about it.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can resist antibiotics, making them hard to kill. According to the CDC, antibiotic-resistant germs infect two million people each year. Those infections kill at least 23,000 people per year. Scientists often modify seeds using antibiotic-resistant genes in the genetic engineering process. Some people wonder if there’s a link between these GM foods and rising rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria. No studies have confirmed this claim, but more research is needed."

Sources

http://gmoinside.org/faqs/

http://naturalsociety.com/china-refuses-syngentas-gmo-mir162-corn/

https://www.nongmoproject.org/high-risk/corn/

http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe70s/crops_10.html

https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef130

http://www.healthline.com/health/gmos-pros-and-cons#Pros2

Credits:

Created with images by kate.fisher - "Shuck corn from the bottom up for flawless ears without the silk!" • apium - "apples 09 037 harvest corn" • Jonathan Rolande - "GMO"

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