Biotech companies are continually trying to create foods that are perfect in every aspect; a more productive plant. Foods that are healthier and can reduce cholesterol, foods that taste better, and foods that have defenses against insects. What most people don't realize is that the perfect foods may not be so perfect in the long run. In my paper I will explain what genetic engineering is, talk about the many reasons for GE, as well as the harmful affects and positive outcomes of GE on humans and the environment. .
Genetic engineering is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living organisms. Molecular biologists have discovered enzymes that have the ability to change the structure of DNA in living organisms. Using these enzymes, scientists learned to cut specific genes from DNA, as well as build customized DNA. This allows scientists to remove and add certain traits in organisms, more specifically in plants. For example, tomatoes are sensitive to frost, which shortens their growing season. Fish, on the other hand are able to survive in very cold water. Scientists identified a particular gene in a flounder that enables it to resist cold engineering to insert this 'anti-freeze' gene into a tomato. This makes it possible to extend the growing season of the tomato.
The reasons for genetically engineering food are many. The ability to create healthier foods is intriguing to biologists. Already, scientists have found ways to increase the amount of Vitamin A in rice, a staple food for much of the world and a nutrient that is critical in disease prevention. Rice is not the only thing being altered for the better though. Oranges can be made to contain all the nutrients of a multivitamin. Tomatoes now have cancer-fighting substances and potatoes can produce healthier french fries. Cholesterol-reducing margarine is another major development. However, Benecol sells for $4.