advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified food

Asked by  | 7th Jun, 2008, 12:41: PM

Expert Answer:

 

1)

Advantages of GM food:

Pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, drought and salinity tolerance, improved nutrition and yield, better shelf-life, faster yield etc are some of the advantages of GM foods. Proteins and vitamins of importance could also be expressed in a crop, which does not naturally contain it.

 Disadvantages:

i) Environmental hazards such as unintended harm to other organisms, reduced effectiveness of pesticides, gene transfer to non-target species

ii) Human health risks such as allergies to such foods and unknown effects on human health from such foods.

iii) Economic concerns since developing such foods is a costly process and patenting them will lead to high prices for their seeds

2) The Bt cotton endotoxin destroys many beneficial insects and that has a knock-on effect on the birds and small mammals that are the natural predators of these insects. The farmers using normal cotton plants,  found a high incidence of beneficial insects on their crop. Bt farmers found no beneficial insects at all on their crop. In addition, Bt cotton was found to be les effective against bollworm, sucking pests etc compared to traditional cotton.In addition growing Bt cotton is extremely expensive and out of reach of several farmers. These are some of the factors leading to farmers stopping its use.

Answered by  | 28th Jun, 2008, 10:19: PM

Queries asked on Sunday & after 7pm from Monday to Saturday will be answered after 12pm the next working day.