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Our Health And Genetically Modified Organisms

1670 words - 7 pages

A genetically modified organism is "an organism whose genetic structure has been changed by incorporating a gene that will convey a wanted trait, many times called gene splicing" (1). The transferred gene allocates the organism to express a trait that will usually add to its desirability to the producer. To modify the organism, scientists usually use recombinant DNA technology, which uses DNA molecules from different sources are combined in vitro into one molecule to create a new gene, and then this DNA is transferred into an organism and causes the expression of the trait or traits. Genetically modified foods are very prevalent in today's society, ranging from simple genetically modified ...view middle of the document...

The vector is then used to give a desired organism the trait that has been taken in the final stage, transformation, which is the genetic modification of a cell because of something's intervention. Another way to create a genetically modified organism is to use a gene gun, which simple shoots the desired substance into the cell. Gene guns are usually used for plants cells, but there potential for use in animals and humans in the near future.The technology for genetic modified organism was made possible through a series of scientific progresses, including the discovery of DNA and the creation of the first recombinant bacteria in 1973. In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the three-dimensional double helix structure of DNA, which ultimately led scientists to gain the ability to splice genes from one organism and put it into another organism. Then in 1973, Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen created the first recombinant DNA organism. As genetically modified organisms got more and more popular controversial issues arose. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court in Diamond v. Chakrabarty ruled that genetically altered life forms could be patented, which was a very important decision for Exxon Oil Company, because it allowed them to patent an oil-eating microorganism for their company. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first genetically engineered drug for use in 1982. The drug was Genentech's Humulin, which was a form of human insulin produced by bacteria. It was the first consumer product developed through modern bioengineering. By 1986 genetically engineered tobacco was being tested in Belgium, and then in 1987 the first field tests of genetically engineered tobacco and tomatoes were done in the United States. By 1992, "Calgene's Favr Savr tomato, engineered to remain firm for a longer period of time, [was] approved for commercial production by the US Department of Agriculture" (3), and the FDA declared that genetically engineered foods were "not inherently dangerous" (3), and did not require regulation by the organization. By 1994 countries such as France were approving genetically engineered crops, such as tobacco. "In 2006, 252 million acres of transgenic crops were planted in 22 countries by 10.3 million farmers. The majority of these crops were herbicide- and insect-resistant soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and alfalfa" (4). As of now the leader in production of transgenic crops is the United States, producing 53% of the world's transgenic crops.Genetically modified organisms are extremely prevalent in today's society, contributing to about 75% of the processed foods on the U.S. market today. The most prevalent genetically modified organism in our foods are corn flour, high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, vitamin C, soy flour, soy oil, soy milk, and lecithin, which are all created through genetically modified organisms. Some of the genetically modified foods are extremely beneficial. Golden rice contains beta-carotene and...

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