DMPQ: What are GM crops? Discuss its advantage and issue involved.

Genetic modified crop as the name suggest is modified form of crop in which nuclear material of parent crop is altered and modified to its advantage by use of genetic engineering. Example of genetic crops are Bt cotton, bt brinjal etc.

Advantage:

  • Drought resilient varieties, pest resilient varieties can be grown. This will bring sustainability in agriculture.
  • It will help to achieve food security and nutritional security GM crops will cater to the needs of growing population and urbanisation.
  • Norman borlaugh and M S Swaminathan has advocated the use of GM crops.
  • Several international organisation such as FAO, WHO and OECD have confirmed that safety of GM crop is a non issue.
  • Production of GM crops reduce dependency on imports.

Issues:

  • High cost of GM seeds due to monopoly of Monsanto.
  • Pests are becoming resistant to the starin in Bt cotton. Input cost for farmers has increased drastically without rising in the total income of the farmer.
  • Long term affect of GM crops on the environment is yet to be assessed. How it is going to affect the food chain?
  • Some GM crops contains genes which provides resistance to commonly used antibiotics such as ampicillin. These genes might enter food chain and may create

Human genome resistant to antibiotics.

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