How can genetic engineering be used to improve agriculture?

Genetic engineering can be used in a variety of ways to protect plants from harmful pests and diseases. Why is it important to protect plants from pests and diseases? In commercial agriculture, plants are normally cultivated in genetic monocultures, especially in basic crops such as corn, wheat, rice and others. If a pest or pathogen is present or introduced and the conditions are favorable, the crop is quite vulnerable. If left unaddressed, serious crop losses can result.

In addition to the FDA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulate bioengineered plants and animals. Classically modified crops and transgenic crops are the result of genetic modifications created through different means of gene transfer technology. The United States Department of Agriculture has recently begun requiring food manufacturers to disclose information about bioengineered foods and their ingredients. In addition, these potatoes are reported to have an improved shelf life and a reduced amount of a potentially carcinogenic chemical that is produced when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures.

We offer clear descriptions and explanations of a variety of issues related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, the amount of genetic changes caused by transgenic technology is small and well defined compared to classical reproduction, in which thousands of uncharacterized genes in an organism may be involved. Both conventional reproduction and transgenic technology can involve changes in the genetic composition of an organism with respect to DNA sequences and the order of genes. Currently, about 90% of papaya grown on the island of Hawaii is genetically modified with a coating protein called PRSV.

While there have been some expressions of concern about biosafety and the health hazards associated with GM crops, there is no reason to hesitate to consume genetically modified food crops that have been carefully developed and carefully tested.

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