Feed Your Mind Main Page. Genetic engineering is often used in combination with traditional breeding to produce the genetically engineered plant varieties on the market today. For thousands of years, humans have been using traditional modification methods like selective breeding and cross-breeding to breed plants and animals with more desirable traits. For example, early farmers developed cross-breeding methods to grow corn with a range of colors, sizes, and uses. Most of the foods we eat today were created through traditional breeding methods.
Genetic modification is a special set of gene technology that alters the genetic machinery of such living organisms as animals, plants or microorganisms. The principal transgenic crops grown commercially in field are herbicide and insecticide resistant soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. There are bananas that produce human vaccines against infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, fish that mature more quickly, fruit and nut trees that yield years earlier and plants that produce new plastics with unique properties. Technologies for genetically modifying foods offer dramatic promise for meeting some areas of greatest challenge for the 21st century. Like all new technologies, they also pose some risks, both known and unknown. Controversies and public concern surrounding GM foods and crops commonly focus on human and environmental safety, labelling and consumer choice, intellectual property rights, ethics, food security, poverty reduction and environmental conservation.
Engineers design plants using genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, to be tougher, more nutritious, or taste better. However, people have concerns over their safety, and there is much debate about the pros and cons of using GMOs. A manufacturer creates GMOs by introducing genetic material, or DNA, from a different organism through a process called genetic engineering.
In this paper, we assess the impacts of genetically modified eggplant, Bt brinjal, on economic and health outcomes in Bangladesh using a cluster randomized controlled design. Bt brinjal cultivation reduces the cost of pesticide use by 47 percent. This is driven by reductions in the use of pesticides with adverse ecological impacts by 82 percent, and reductions in the use of pesticides with adverse effects on farmer health by 23 percent. Individuals who had a preexisting chronic condition consistent with pesticide exposure and who lived in villages randomly selected to grow Bt brinjal were