How is food genetically engineered?
Genes are removed from one organism a plant, animal, or microbe and placed in another. Most of the genes instruct a cell to make a particular protein. Usually the goal of genetic engineering is to improve a crop’s pest resistance, herbicide resistance, or total yield. Corn and cotton, for example, are modified to contain a protein that kills insects that feed on plants. Scientists are working on genetically engineered crops that resist droughts or cold, or can grow in poor soil. Among futuristic possibilities are pharmaceutical crops that could include vaccines or additional nutrients. What do proponents say? GE foods can help feed a hungry world and improve the environment. Virus- and insect-resistant crops can greatly increase yields of staple foods in developing countries. Crops capable of growing in poor soils will reduce destruction of virgin forests. And crops with their own relatively benign insect pesticide require fewer chemical pesticides and that’s good for the environment,