Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of production of genetically modified crops.

7/8/2015 CBSE



Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of production of
genetically modified crops.






Answer :


 



The production of genetically modified (GM) or transgenic plants has several
advantages.



(i) Most
of the GM crops have been developed for pest resistance, which increases the
crop productivity and therefore, reduces the reliance on chemical pesticides.



(ii) Many
varieties of GM food crops have been developed, which have enhanced nutritional
quality. For example, golden rice is a transgenic variety in rice, which is rich
in vitamin A.



(iii) These
plants prevent the loss of fertility of soil by increasing the efficiency of
mineral usage.



(iv) They
are highly tolerant to unfavourable abiotic conditions.



(v) The
use of GM crops decreases the post harvesting loss of crops.



However, there are certain controversies regarding the use of genetically
modified crops around the world. The use of these crops can affect the native
biodiversity in an area. For example, the use of Bt toxin to decrease the amount
of pesticide is posing a threat for beneficial insect pollinators such as honey
bee. If the gene expressed for Bt toxin gets expressed in the pollen, then the
honey bee might be affected. As a result, the process of pollination by honey
bees would be affected. Also, genetically modified crops are affecting human
health. They supply allergens and certain antibiotic resistance markers in the
body. Also, they can cause genetic pollution in the wild relatives of the crop
plants. Hence, it is affecting our natural environment.




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