GM Crops

  • Created by: catnip3
  • Created on: 28-03-18 09:09
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  • GM CROPS
    • What are they?
      • GM stands for genetic modification
      • GM -the use of recombinant DNA methods to transfer a gene into an organisms genome
      • Another term is 'transgenic', transferring one gene into a different organism
      • Over half of ciurrent GM crops carry a gene that makes them resistant to weed killer
        • These work by making an enzyme that is not inhibited by herbicide - so the plant will
      • Another modification is resistance to insecticides
        • This encodes an anti-insecticidal protein
    • Are they safe?
      • There is a worry that pollen or seeds may  spread through the environment
        • They might be difficult to contain or eradicate
      • GM crops could also interbreed with non GM crops
        • This needs to be avoided so usually they are kept in separate fields
      • An example is Bt GM crops, which were resistant to insecticides. Their pollen was toxic to monarch butterfly larvae
      • There is worry GM crops will become resistant - arising by mutation
        • This spreads by a selective advantage
      • There is not much direct consumption of GM crops in the UK, however we consume it as GM crops are eaten by animals for food
        • Non GM crops can be consumed by animals, and this meat will be more expensive
        • In the USA, many processed foods contain GM crops and are not labelled
    • Benefits
      • GM technology can develop more nutritious food
        • Eg Golden rice which contains vitamin A and helps children who develop permanent blindness
      • Food production can be increased by resisting pathogens
        • Plants can also be grown in harsh climates

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