Premium Essay

Eng/102 the Safety of Frankenfoods Final Draft


Submitted By Ratbaby30
Words 2117
Pages 9
The Safety of “Frankenfoods”
Debora Petit
June 24, 2014
Jason Greer

The Safety of Frankenfoods In a world that will have an estimated population of approximately 9.6 billion people by the year 2050 (United Nations Department Of Economic And Social Affairs, 2013), growing enough food becomes a great concern. As the population grows, the amount of available farmland decreases. This phenomenon inspired companies, such as Monsanto and Novartis, to find a way to help farmers increase the yields from crops while also increasing their own profits. By genetically modifying food crops such as soy and corn, insect resistance and crop yield can be improved. However, studies conducted after government approval in the U.S. indicate that genetically modified (GM) foods can cause harmful side effects not only to humans but also to the environment. During the 1950’s, scientists found the basis for genetic modification when they discovered chemicals that “could cut and duplicate pieces of DNA” (Chapman, 2010, para. 2). Genetic modification occurs when the DNA from one species is inserted into the DNA of another species. For example, the gene that allows an Arctic fish not to freeze in sub-zero waters could be inserted into a tomato plant to make it frost resistant. Without the ability to cut pieces of DNA, these genes could not be transferred. The process evolved with the discovery of a germ that could transfer DNA into plants. Cells contain a natural defense mechanism that protects against a genetic invader taking over the cell; however viruses, some of which can cause cancer, can surpass these defenses. Microbiologists use a promoter from the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV), to ensure that the genetic trait they are inserting will incorporate into the plant being modified (Smith, 2003, p.63). The promoter acts like a “light switch,” permanently turning on the

Similar Documents