After a total of seven extremely detailed posts where I talked about the benefits of genetically modifying food, I thought of posting a round-up post so that those of you that joined us later in the series can catch-up.
The posts were very detailed, so before you start reading these I highly recommend you sign up to the left in the box to receive a free ebook called Genetically Modifying Food 101. Just enter your email address and I’ll send you your copy right in your inbox.
Pest resistance: This is the first and most commonly cited benefit of genetically modifying crops.
Herbicide tolerance: Herbicides usually refers to substances and chemicals that are used to destroyed unwanted organisms growing close to or in the same place as plants. So for example, herbicides are used to remove weeds that would otherwise endanger the harvest of farmers.
Disease resistance: Plants are regularly attacked by harmful organisms such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria. These cause disease in the plant and crops, leading to large-scale loses. I have briefly talked about these losses in previous articles, and have an article scheduled to talk about the economic impacts of crop-losses on an international scale. These losses also effect you, even though you are probably reading this miles away from the nearest farm.
Cold tolerance: Frost, especially when unexpected, can completely destroy seedlings. This is more so when the seedlings are of a sensitive nature, such as strawberries.
Drought tolerance: This is different from the drought tolerance topic I mentioned in this post, and has more to do with long-term droughts. As the world population grows at an alarming rate, farmers will be forced to grow crops in areas that are generally unsuited for plant cultivation.
Nutrition: This is possibly one of the most urgently-needed benefits that we can get from genetically modifying the crops that we grow. Malnutrition is very common in third world countries. In these same countries, people rely on a single crop such a rice as the main staple of their diet. This causes them to not have adequate amounts of all the necessary nutrients to prevent malnutrition.
Medicine and Vaccines: Researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes. These vaccines will be much easier to ship, store, and administer than traditional injectable vaccines.
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