Biotechnology and Agriculture

Biotechnology is defined as “an array of basic sciences that use scientific discovery and new technologies for the manipulation  of the fundamental building blocks of genetic information to create new life forms that ,ay not have occurred in nature.”

This new method of creating species is vital for the agriculture industry because it helps us make superior crops. Farmers today can grow five times as much corn as they did in the 1930’s, while using 20% less land. this fact is astounding considering all was accomplished by genetically modifying foods. There are so many beneficial reasons as to why farmers have adopted genetically engineered crops, including yield increases, energy savings, tillage efficiencies, pesticide stings, better pest control, and to save money or make money.

When modifying crops you can have input or output traits, examples of input traits include disease resistance, drought resistance, insect resistance, and herbicide tolerance. On the other hand some of the output traits include yield, fortified nutritional characteristics, higher oil content or quality, and pharmaceutical qualities.

So many people have irrational fears regarding genetically modified foods, although without them it would be impossible to feed the growing population of the planet.  While there are real concerns regarding the use of GMO’s such as genetic resistance to weeds and pests, the pros outweigh the cons tenfold, by allowing for less pesticide use, less carbon emissions, reduced hunger, and an overall reduced collateral damage to biodiversity and rain forest destruction.

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