10.Genetically Modified Crops: A Reality Check and Present Global Scenario
B. D. Bulchandani
Genetically modified (GM) crops have failed to be the popular success, the scientists claimed them to be, few decades back. Most concerns about GM foods fall into three categories i.e. environmental hazards, human health risks, and economic concerns. While the human health issues are of utmost importance, as they directly impact the future of such crops, the environment and economical issues are deriving support in present day society that is well informed and aware of the concept of coexistence and harmony between all prevalent biotic as well as abiotic factors. Long term environmental and health monitoring programs in favor of GM plants either do not exist or are inadequate to convince the masses. There is a growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health. Most of the animal feeding studies have revealed a mixed interpretation, means some claim that the GM crops code for the known proteins in the transformed host and that they should straight forward be regarded safe, while others are of the opinion that genes do not always encode a fixed three dimensional protein structure. The term ‘intrinsically disordered protein’ has been introduced to describe proteins that lack a fixed three dimensional structure. It has been reported that 33 percent of eukaryotic proteins contain disordered segments. This may result in allergenicity by them, in its multi faceted form which may be the possible cause of various harmful health effects. Besides, there are evidences that GM crops are sometimes ill adapted to the challenges facing global food and agriculture systems, and have failed to materialize outside the laboratory, or have unraveled when faced with the real world complexities of agricultural ecosystems, and needs of farmers. Environmental hazards also include the unintended harm to other organisms. Non GM advanced https://crankgaming.net methods of plant breeding are already delivering the sorts of traits promised by GM crops, including resistance to diseases, flood and drought tolerance. GM crops are also supposed to restrict innovation due to intellectual property rights owned by a handful of multinational corporations. Nevertheless, genetic engineering, beyond doubt is the inevitable wave of the future and we cannot afford to ignore this technology that has such enormous potential benefits. However, all must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm to human health and the environment as a result of our enthusiasm for this powerful technology. This paper deals with the issues of looking at GM plants with a critical and analytical outlook, so that the myths and over expectations of populations worldwide, could be mitigated, besides, doubts as well as fears regarding their uses be tackled and answered.