Genetically Altered Foods

Essay by stephieDeCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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When was the last time that you ate something with corn in it? Now think about it... this morning maybe you had a bowl of cereal, for lunch a few tacos, and for dinner maybe your planning to have sweet corn with your chicken fried steak whatever your meals have been today more than likely they have had corn in them. Did you think at any time today that your foods might be contaminated? With the ever rising use of genetically altered foods this has become a growing concern for many. Where does the world stand in the use of genetically altered foods? Is it the pros or cons that outweigh the other in biotechnology?

Agriculture biotechnology is a precise, scientific process including genetic engineering, which is used to modify or improve plants, animals, or microorganisms for a specific purpose. It applies the same basic concepts that plant and animal breeders have used for centuries, only using much more precise methods and generating results much more quickly and effectively.

However, ever since the Taco Bell corn scandal of 2001, biotechnology as a whole has taken a hard hit there are those that fear that corn and other commodities produced using genetically altered organisms will after time have a negative impact on humans and the environment.

The scandal that continues to hold biotechnology responsible first began with the creation of a corn variety called starlink. The starlink corn was genetically altered to contain the bacteria Bt, which kills the destructive European Corn Borer, a pest that causes an estimated one billion in crop losses annually. By manipulating the corns genetic material scientists created a corn plant that internally combats the European Corn Borer by producing a substance that is toxic to the pest, and thereby reducing the need to use chemicals...