The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetically Modifying Crops.

Essay by GroeneHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 2007

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetically Modifying Crops.

Summary: What are the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modifying food crops? Can developing countries or countries struggling with famine profit from these techniques?Does it affect the surrounding environment? These are all questions that have kept scientist biologist and ethicists busy. Religious groups would also like to have there say in it. Can genetic engineering help society, or will it be a burden for our future generations, because it has disastrous effects on our environment.

Approximately 10,000 years ago the first crops were consciously planted. In the Middle East, wheat and barley were planted, the early farmers in Peru cultivated potatoes and beans and in the Indus valley the ancient civilization there started sowing their fields with rice. How they figured this out we don't know it was probably a long process of trial and error and a fair bit of luck.

This early agriculture consisted out of four stages: sowing the seeds, caring for the plants, harvesting, selecting and keeping back some of the seeds for the next generation. Although these people that had settled down to farm had improved their life styles considerably, they still wanted a higher crop yield and a bigger variety of crops. This lead to certain techniques. Some that they understood like crop rotation, but others that have only been recently been explained by modern DNA research. These early farmers unconsciously crossed for example certain types of walnuts together, so that they were not poisonous anymore. Wild walnuts contain cyanide and the concentration in wild walnuts is enough to kill a human. These early farmers also tried to get bigger seeds and fruits of their crops and make them more resistant to diseases. Of course they booked some progress, but not a lot. Nowadays scientists are...