Green genetic engineering - curse or blessing?


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Anyone who thinks of modern organic crops when using the term "green biotechnology" is wrong. These are processes in which foreign genes are introduced into the genome of plants. Organic associations such as Demeter or Bioland, but also conservationists decidedly reject this type of seed production.

The arguments of scientists and manufacturers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are obvious at first glance: genetically modified wheat, rice, corn and soy varieties are more resistant to pests, diseases or drought and thus an important step forward in the fight against famine, Consumers, on the other hand, are primarily concerned about possible health consequences. Strange genes on the plate? 80 percent say "no!" Their main concern is that GM foods could cause more allergies. Physicians also warn against a further increase in the resistance of harmful germs to antibiotics, because in gene transfer antibiotic resistance genes are used as markers that remain in the plant and can not be outcrossed. However, despite labeling obligations and public relations of the consumer protection organizations, genetically manipulated products are increasingly being brought to the table.

Grow acreage

Green genetic engineering - curse or blessing?: blessing

Feed maize: With the increase in global meat consumption, yield-proof varieties must be produced

Cultivation bans, such as for the maize MON810 in Germany, change little - even if other countries like France follow the cultivation stop: The area on which genetically engineered plants are cultivated is increasing, especially in the USA and South America, but also in Spain and Eastern Europe continuously too. And: The import and processing of GM maize, soybeans and rapeseed is permitted under EU law, as is the "release" of genetically modified plants for research purposes. For example, over the past four years, such food and fodder crops have grown in Germany in over 250 trial fields.

Green genetic engineering - curse or blessing?: genetic

Bees carry the pollen of their food plants for miles. In this way, the genome of genetically modified plants enters the environment uncontrolled

Whether GM plants ever disappear from the environment is not sufficiently clarified in other species. Contrary to all the promises of the genetic engineering industry, the cultivation of GM crops does not lead to a decline in the use of environmentally harmful pesticides. In the US, genetic engineering fields now use 13 percent more pesticides than conventional fields. The main reason for this increase is the development of resistant weeds on arable land.

new technologies

Green genetic engineering - curse or blessing?: curse

Not only the classical forage plants are genetically modified. Genetic engineering is also used to grow new fruits and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables from the gene laboratory are not yet approved within the EU. Unlike in the US: The first genetically modified "anti-slush tomato" ("FlavrSavr tomato") proved to be a flop, but now there are six new tomato varieties with maturity delay genes or genetically engineered pest resistance on the market.
The skepticism of European consumers is still fueling the imagination of the researchers. Meanwhile, new methods of gene transfer are used. The scientists inject species-specific genes into the plants and thus circumvent the labeling obligation. First successes are in apples such as 'Elstar' or 'Golden Delicious'. Apparently brilliant, but by no means perfect - it is still not possible to determine the place where the new apple gene is anchored during the gen exchange. That's not the only thing that could give hope to conservationists, because it proves that life is much more than a genetic blueprint.

GMO-free enjoyment

Not all food manufacturers jump on the genetic engineering train. Some companies refrain from directly or indirectly using plants or additives produced by genetic engineering. You can download a purchasing guide for GMO-free enjoyment from Greenpeace here as a PDF document.
What's your opinion? Do you see genetic engineering as a curse or a blessing? Would you buy food from genetically modified plants?
Discuss in the forum.

Video Board: Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR.

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