Introduction to Genetically Modified Seeds

In the year 1970, the developed glyphosate as an herbicide or commonly known as Roundup, is a familiar herbicide among farmers to protect their crops from pests and weeds. The person who is behind the genetically modified seed is Monsanto, who became the biggest supplier of the glyphosate-resistant crops. Biochemist Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen, developed the strategy of cutting the DNA in specific areas, and then latch it to other organisms, and this is the result of modern biotechnology.

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In the year 1976, the biotechnology was commercialized and companies injected genes from one organism to another. The most general Genetically modified crop is the glyphosate-tolerant soybean. After the sudden modification of crop was commercialized some other GM seeds have been developed, which consist of sugarcane, tomatoes, potato, cotton, rice, sugar, and beets. These GM seeds can withstand insects, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and diseases (Bushak, 2015).

Genetically Modified(GM) Seeds are crops that are enhanced by genetic engineering, a more exact technique for plant reproduction. By modifying a plant and developing its characteristic, genetic engineering, also associated as biotechnology, permits plant raisers to take a particular trait that is found in a specific plant and transmit it to the plant or organism they want to enhance. Bananas and seedless watermelon today are far more distinctive than the older varieties of fruits, this is because of the modification strategies that was used (GMO Basics, n.d.).

The agriculture sector has generally been mounting on innovation, especially in the field of genetic crop development. For a considerable amount of time, the industry has been looking for a dynamic type of crop by blending the qualities of seeds. The GM seeds have been changed to contain particular traits, for example, protection from herbicides (on account of Roundup Ready crops), and protection from pests (on account of Bt corn). GM seeds are modified with a conventional technique by embedding the DNA of the seeds straightforwardly. Over the ages, the qualities of cross-preparation have not been altered (Kruft, 2001).

Benefits Less use of herbicides

The herbicide resistant crops that is called the Roundup Ready crops is produced by Monsanto. The GM crops are preferable because of its unique traits that the farmers are already aware about the safety of its usage, and in effect, it leads farming more effortless and affordable. The soil of the traditional crops needs to be extremely prepared prior to sowing in order to somehow get rid of the weed seeds from breeding. When the crops are about to cultivate, the crops are then sprayed with varieties of herbicides without damaging the crop. On the other hand, the GM crops only needs a few exhaustive preparations, and the herbicide that is sprayed to the farm depends on how much the problem of the weed (Pinstrup-Andersen & Schiøler, 2001).

The accommodation of the GM crops lessens the need for a mixture of herbicides or dangerous toxicants that demands a lot of applications. The advantage of the farmers who cultivates a GM crop is the use of a product rather than having multiple herbicides in controlling the weeds without destroying the properties of the crop (Sanvido, Stark, Romies, & Bigler, 2006)

GM seeds that the seed companies are working on have high tolerance to various weeds and pests. This kind of GM trait could benefit to a more maximized and stable commodity for farmers. In the small farm sector, GM seeds are capable of generating high profits of yield products. In traditional ways of cultivating a farm, a farmer needs to hire more labor force in order to get the work done. While with the use of GM technologies, it only requires a few people to nurture the land (Carter, Moschini, & Sheldon, 2011).

Nutritional resources

GM seeds can be altered, so this means that we would be able to develop the seeds and make them advantageous for human yield and utilization. Healthful nutrients can be inserted to crops that lacks important vitamins and minerals. Since rice or corn is the staple food of some country, it would be possible to inject some genes with valuable nutrients to the crops, to help those countries who is in need of nutritional crops (13 Advantages and Disadvantages of GMO’s, 2015).

The main focus of the strategies in the GM seeds is to enhance the traits of a certain crop and add nutritional value to it. Biotechnology also aim to work with a product that makes plant-derived pharmaceuticals(PDP). The importance of these biopharmaceuticals is gradually increasing and there is a big chance that it is a potential in making the crops more nutritious. Although the pharmaceutical crops are not yet publicly advertised, there will be a few PDP that is going to be out in the market for consumption (Sanvido, Stark, Romies, & Bigler, 2006).

Extracting the problems and adding more nutritional traits, biotechnology has demonstrated the possibility to develop the characteristics of a crop. The positive achievement of the GM technology with regard to maximizing the accessibility and diminishing price of a drug is the continuous research and implementation of the pharmaceutical crop production, referred to as “pharma crop” (Mahgoub, 2015).

Lower cost, increased profit

The crop yields remarkably increased when the farmers make use of the herbicide tolerant cotton and Bt cotton. The Economic Research Service(ERS) found an important study about the connection between the maximizing crop gain and the increase of herbicide and pesticide tolerance. Agriculturist anticipated to have an increase in the yields if they embraced the GM seeds technology. While for the herbicide-tolerant soybeans have a minor increase in crop yields. Another research that is implemented by the Iowa State University using 377 fields discovered that, the crop that is cultivated with the use of GM seeds gained 160.4 bushels of Bt corn per field, whereas the crops that are cultivated with non-GM seeds gained 147.7 per field. It can be clearly seen that GM seeds outdo the non-GM seeds (Kruft, 2001).

A finding from a beneficent analysis of GM crops passed by Wolf and Vogele in Switzerland. Their primary assumption is that the culturing of Bt corn is economically plausible rather than the culturing of non-GM maize (Scholderer & Verbeke, 2012).

After an PRSV infection that happened in Hawaii, the generically modified papaya exceedingly gained more than the non-generically modified sort of papaya. In 1999, out of 90% of the farmers that acquired the genetically modified seeds, only 76% of them cultivated it. The yield of the GM papaya gradually increased from an amount of 26 million pounds in 1998 to an apex of 40 million pounds in 2011. Nowadays, there is a total of 80%-90% of GM papaya in Hawaii because there is still no any other technique to control the PRSV infection (Bennet & Jennings, 2013).

Threat to farmers

A big concern to the farmers is the possibility of cross pollination from a genetically modified crop to a non-GM plant. Crops with GM genes have been found in ordinary plants as well as in plants that have been using only organic and natural cultivating practices. It will now be very hard for consumers to determine which is organic and which is really not. The seed growers are now a situation where they need to really think twice on what crop they are going to raise in their fields. It’s either they choose a significantly more costlier yield that can possibly flounder every now and then, than customary yields and can be exceptionally perilous to the people and other living organisms who consumes them (Smith, n.d.) (13 Advantages and Disadvantages of GMO’s, 2015) (Kruft, 2001) (Mercola, 2014)

Toxic Plants

Another apprehension according to (Kruft, 2001) is that, the presence of an unperceived allergens in the GM food source is the greatest pitfall to health. In addition to that, (Mercola, 2014) stated that food allergies have gradually increased, with more or less five million youngsters who are suffering from the GM foods. There have been no further studies that is invoked to the safety of these GM crops because research and evaluation of these crops are conserved under various copyright and proprietary information laws. Furthermore, the effects of the human and animal health are not yet fully understood and there will be a great uncertainty to the welfare of the consumers (Why we are against GMOs, 2015)

Contract Issues

Monsanto promised the people that he will make the world a better place for future generations. His principal plan is to Increase the yields, that’s why he gives the farmers the product and framework to help them to achieve his desires. Monsanto creates GM seeds and his fundamental item is the Roundup ready crops, which is resistant to the herbicide. For the utilization of the specific trait on the crop, Monsanto induced the farmers who purchase GM seeds to go into an agreement of authorizing consent for the use of the special seeds. The farmers are prohibited from sparing the seeds, so Monsanto is demanding that seeds need to be purchased from them every season (Duvvuru, 2009).

It’s a burden for agriculturist who purchase the GM seeds in signing the agreements that seed organizations are requiring. The seed organizations have put tremendous subsidizes in the innovation of the GM seeds, and they secure this speculation through their agreement with the farmers. These agreements strongly guarantee the biotechnology organization’s rights to seeds, plot the setting inside which debates may be settled, and compel the risk of the organization (Kruft, 2001).

To authorize the use of GM seeds, the farmers need to sign an agreement that remove their legitimate rights and obtain liabilities. The qualities that is injected to the GM seeds are secured by patents. The agreement outlaws the farmers to sell their seeds to researchers who wants to evaluate it, and also the organization obstructs independent research on the seeds that have been acquired from them. The farmers are strictly not allowed to save seeds from the GM crops. If a farmer whose detected with the patented genes by cross-pollination, the farmer still needs to pay the fine for having the genes of the GM crops even though he is actually cultivating his crops organically (Public Health Association of Australia, 2013).

References

13 Advantages and Disadvantages of GMO’s. (2015). Retrieved from GreenGarageBlog.org: https://greengarageblog.org/13-main-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gmos

Bennet, D. J., & Jennings, R. C. (2013). Succesful Agricultural Innovation in Emerging Economies: New Genetic Technologies for Global Food Production. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=g9MgAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA192&dq=positive+effects+of+genetically+modified+seeds&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj99YOEgJjZAhWH0YMKHWSWAMcQ6AEIRTAF#v=onepage&q=positive%20effects%20of%20genetically%20modified%20seeds&f=false

Bushak, L. (2015, July 22). A brief History of Genetically Modified Organisms: From Prehistoric Breeding To Modern Biotechnology. Retrieved from Medical Daily: https://www.medicaldaily.com/brief-history-genetically-modified-organisms-prehistoric-breeding-modern-344076

Carter, C., Moschini, G. C., & Sheldon, I. (2011). Frontiers of economics and globalization: Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare.

Duvvuru, K. (2009, May 2). Monsanto and It’s Philanthropy. Retrieved from Dissident Voice: https://dissidentvoice.org/2009/05/monsanto-and-its-philanthropy/

GMO Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved from GMO Answers: https://gmoanswers.com/gmo-basics

Kruft, D. (2001, November). Impacts of Genetically-Modified Crops and Seeds on Farmers. Retrieved from https://greengarageblog.org/13-main-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gmos

Mahgoub, S. E. (2015). Genetically Modified Foods: Basics, Applications, and Controversy. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=A-v5CQAAQBAJ&pg=PA213&dq=genetically+modified+seeds&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj8hKeW5JfZAhUh6YMKHS7SCw8Q6AEIPTAF#v=onepage&q=genetically%20modified%20seeds&f=false

Mercola, J. (2014, February 10). Seeds of Evil: Monsanto and Genetic Engineering. Retrieved from Organic Consumers Association: https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/seeds-evil-monsanto-and-genetic-engineering

Pinstrup-Andersen, P., & Schiøler, E. (2001). Seeds of Contention: World Hunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=NtY6AwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=benefits+of+genetically+modified+seeds&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK3s-ts5fZAhUjjK0KHf_OAEYQuwUIKzAA#v=onepage&q=benefits%20of%20genetically%20modified%20seeds&f=false

Public Health Association of Australia. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.phaa.net.au/documents/item/235

Sanvido, O., Stark, M., Romies, J., & Bigler, F. (2006, October). Ecological impacts of genetically modified crops: Experiences from ten years of experimental field research and commercial cultivation. Retrieved from https://research.cip.cgiar.org/confluence/download/attachments/2400/Swiss+study+GM+crops.pdf

Scholderer, J., & Verbeke, W. (2012). Genetically Modified Crop Production: Social Science, Agricultural Economics, Cost and Benefits of Coexistencte.Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=vbUvlULIfwgC&pg=PA33&dq=positive+effects+of+genetically+modified+seeds&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj99YOEgJjZAhWH0YMKHWSWAMcQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=positive%20effects%20of%20genetically%20modified%20seeds&f=false

Smith, M. D. (n.d.). GMO Reality Check. Retrieved from EBSCO Industries, Inc: https://eds.a.ebscohost.com.eztest.ocls.ca/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=a3ef297c-4d12-4432-ae2e-73b88c2a768e%40sessionmgr4008&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=78031008&db=hxh

Why we are against GMOs. (2015). Retrieved from Slow Food: https://www.slowfood.com/what-we-do/themes/gmos/why-we-are-against-gmos/

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