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Genetically Altered Plants

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					Genetically Modified
      Crops
 presented by David Taussig
     December 8, 2005
 Why talk about GM crops?
• Use is common, particularly in the U.S.
  • 75 million acres planted in the U.S. in 2000
    (Colorado State University 2004)
  • 5 Million farmers grow GM crops (Perry 2003)


• Varying opinions regarding GM crops among
 the world‟s governments

• Stigma attached to GM crops among the
 general public
        What are GM crops?
• Plants which have been genetically altered to
 express a desirable trait (Perry 2003)
  •   Herbicide resistance
  •   Virus resistance
  •   Insecticides
  •   Environmental Tolerance
  •   Increased nutritional value
    How are GM crops made?
•   Most common method is by using
    Agrobacterium tumefaciens (CSU 2000)
    •   Soil bacteria containing a tumor inducing (Ti)
        plasmid.


•   Isolate the gene containing the desirable trait
•   Insert this gene into the Ti plasmid of
    Agrobacterium
•   Remove the tumor inducing genes of the
    plasmid, and infect the plant cells
•   Regenerate transformed cells into viable plants
Proposed benefits of GM crops
• Increased economic profits for the farmer
• Lower prices for the consumer
• Reduced dependence on chemical
  fertilizers and insecticides (Gray 2002)
• Potentially decreased environmental
  restriction (Chrisafis 2001)
• Potentially increased nutritional benefit
  (CSU 2000, Coghlan 2005)
Potential dangers of GM crops
• Health concerns

• Contamination of organic populations
 (Luhnow 2005)

• GM crops can be very difficult to contain or
 eradicate (Peterson et al 2000)

• Exploitation of third-world farmers by
 American biotech companies (Peterson et al
 2000)
     A Biblical Perspective
• It is important to recognize the intrinsic value
 of the environment as God‟s handiwork (Vautin)

• We should choose what is best for all of
 humanity, rather than a few American
 companies

• Biotech companies should use extreme caution,
 performing enough research to become as
 certain as possible that the product does not
 harm those who consume it.
                Conclusion

• Right approach to GM crops is one that is
 cautiously optimistic.
  • We will need to find a way to increase food output in
    the future
  • More food will not be sufficient without addressing
    the political and economic issues
  • Research should be allowed and encouraged to
    continue to address safety and health concerns
                     Bibliography
Chrisafis, Angelique. “GM tomato could open up vast new agricultural
   lands.” Guardian Unlimited. July 2001.
   <http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,530024,00.
   html>
CNN Health. “Parents turn to organic food.” November 8, 2005.
   <http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/diet.fitness/11/08/organic.kids
   .ap/index.html>
CNN World. “Swiss tighten GM crop limits.” November 27, 2005.
   <http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/11/27/swiss.gmo.vote.
   ap/index.html>
Coghlan, Andy. “New „golden rice‟ carries far more vitamin.”
   NewScientist.com. March 2005.
   <http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7196>
Colorado State University “Transgenic Crops: an Introduction and
   Resource Guide.” August 2004.
   <http://www.colostate.edu/programs/lifesciences/TransgenicCrops/i

				
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