what's cropped up - genetically engineered varieties of old farm
favorites. Soybeans, corn, potatoes, squash and more are getting
microscopic makeovers. Explore more about what happens when produce
using recombinant DNA techniques, allows scientists to take genes
from just about anything, and splice them into a plant's genetic
makeup. The result is a plant. Imagine a tomato that
can grow in cold climates because it contains a gene from a cold-resistant
Some of the
most common traits being engineered into crops are pest-resistance,
disease-resistance, and herbicide resistance. crops, are
genetically engineered to produce a toxin that kills certain insects.
Nearly 20% of the corn grown in the U.S. is a Bt variety. Cotton
is another crop that makes wide use of the Bt technology.
genetically engineered (GE) trait is resistance to herbicides. Roundup
Ready soybeans are
genetically engineered to withstand a specific spray used to kill
weeds. The trait is designed so farmers can spray fewer times and
use herbicides that are less toxic. GE soybeans now account for
more than 60% of the bean crop in the U.S.
Most of the
current genetically engineered traits benefit farmers, not consumers.
In the future, that focus could shift. What kind of traits could
be on the table? Many of the promised products are healthier versions
of existing ones. Canola and soybeans are used to make cooking oils.
Genetically engineered versions of those crops could result in oils
with a healthier fat content. Potatoes engineered to absorb less
fat when they cook could make for healthy french fries. Fruits and
vegetables could have more vitamins. The possibilities are endless.
What kind of benefits can you think of? What kinds of risks are
application is called , genetically engineering
plants to produce medical products. The plants could be engineered
to contain vaccines, or
to produce medicines.
genetically engineered crops a good idea? Find out more about Farming's
Food and Drug
Administration. "Genetic Engineering Fast Forwarding to Future
Foods." (Online.) September 2002. http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/CONSUMER/geneng.html
Engineered Bt Corn
insecticides are one effective way to combat pests, but scientists
have hit upon another solution. More
of the biggest benefits promised by GE crops are environmental ones. More
engineered foods that deliver more than just nutrition. More
to Market Links
Dominate 2002 Crop Acres
In no economic
sector is the potential of G-M-O's debated more than in agriculture.
And there are few advocates who are embracing and utilizing the
technology more than American farmers
From nutrition labels on food to crop verification software, information
is becoming a big part of the food sector of the economy.
Did Not Cause Allergies
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said it found no evidence linking
the genetically modified corn variety to reported cases of rashes,
diarrhea, and breathing problems.