Written by Dr. Shalini Aul, MBBS, DND | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff / ms. sheela philomena, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Jun 22, 2018

Why are Genetically Modified Organisms being produced?

Genetically modified foods are being produced and marketed, as they are “perceived” to be better in crop production, more resistant, with better nutrition, more innovative and economical.

What is the Difference between Genetically Modified Foods and Naturally Produced Foods?

Genetically modified foods are developed and marketed with a perceived benefit as they have a supposedly better crop production and crop protection and have enhanced food nutrition. Their production results in an increase in the economic growth of the country, as their yield is better. Genetically modified seeds have been produced by incorporating the desirable traits of two or more organisms that are crossed, thereby getting a genetically better species - a form of eugenics. This is different from conventional or natural methods of breeding of crops wherein the genetic material is never transferred between species that are not related.

Initially, the aim for developing genetically modified organisms was to have better crop protection by the introduction of a more resilient plant to diseases caused by insects, bacteria or viruses and by increasing the tolerance towards herbicides. Insect resistance is also obtained by the addition of the gene for toxin production from the bacterium bacillus thuringiensis (BT). This toxin is a traditional insecticide used in farming and is believed to be relatively safe for human consumption. Genetically modified plants expect lesser amount of insecticides, and are more resistant to infections. They are therefore less vulnerable to disease and help in increasing crop production.

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