For someone modern breeding methods, for others threats. GMOs raise discussions after decades and often becomes the subject of many protests. What GMOs are and how they are prepared? Where is the practical use?
As genetically modified organism (GMO) is considered one whose genetic makeup has been deliberately altered in ways that normally do not take place in nature. Most often is GMO prepared artificially, when to organism is incorporated gene isolated from an organism of another species, resulting in the so-called overcome – natural reproductive barriers. In practice it appears like that, for example, a human gene is transferred to the bacterium or bacteria gene to the plant. Such a method of changing the genetic information is known as transgenesis and organisms modified in this way are called transgenic
Benefits and risks of genetic modification of organisms
- use in research, the results lead to a better understanding of the nature of some disease
- production of more effective drugs, improvement of treatments
- resistance of plants against herbycide, pests or parasites, and infectious diseases, cold, etc.
- use of transgenic plants to developing countries suffering from f.e. famine
- nature load reduction – in GM crops is not necessary to use as many fertilizers and spraying, saving on fuel, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere
- most often criticized by the GMO foods and crops
- possible disruption of biodiversity
- possibility of allergic reactions by human consumption
- GMO foods and crops are produced only a short time and we can not assess whether they are safe
Interesting facts about GMO foods
- The first commercial GM food was tomato created in the early 90s of the 20th century in California.
- Ninety percent of GM crops is produced in four countries – the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Canada. US production covered in 2008 almost half of all GM crops.
- The European Union is in contrast to the USA known for her more reserved attitude towards GMO.
- The first GM crop, which was allowed to grow in the Czech Republic was Bt maize. European Union approved the cultivation of genetically modified Amflora potato varieties.
- Among the most widely modified crops are corn and soybeans, oilseed rape or alfalfa.
- Currently, for food purposes in the EU were approved by a total of 31 modification: 6 for cotton, 17 for maize, oilseed rape for 3, 3 for soybeans and one for potatoes and sugar beet.
- If food contains GM material, it must be on the package according to the regulations of EU indicated. The exception is when a food contains genetic modification of less than 0.9 percent
Author: Veronika Bíliková