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08.

06BiochemistryandTechnology:WorksheetandRubric

BeforeYouBegin:
Youmayeithercopyandpastethisdocumentintoawordprocessing
programofyourchoiceorprintthispage.Besuretoanswereachofthefollowingquestions
completelyandinyourownwords.Besuretorefertotheresearchwheneverpossibleor
appropriate.
1. Whatspecifictopicdidyouchoosetoresearchandevaluate?(2points)
ThetopicthatIhavechosentoresearchandevaluateistheuseofgeneticallymodified
organismsinfoodmanufacturing.
2. Listtheresourcesthatyouusedinyourresearchofyourtopic.(3points)
"GeneticallyModifiedCrops:MostCommon."
GeneticallyModifiedCrops:MostCommon.
N.p.,
n.d.Web.11Aug.2015.<http://www.healthyeatingpolitics.com/>.
Fresco,LouiseO."GeneticallyModifiedCrops."
AccessScience
(n.d.):n.pag.
FAO.org
.Web.
11Aug.2015.<http://www.fao.org/>.
"GeneticallyModifiedCrops."
:1.WhatIsAgriculturalBiotechnology?
N.p.,n.d.Web.11Aug.
2015.<http://www.greenfacts.org/>.
"GeneticallyModifiedCrops."
GeneticallyModifiedCrops.
N.p.,n.d.Web.11Aug.2015.
<http://fas.org/>.
"ConsumerConcernsAboutHormonesinFood."
ConsumerConcernsAboutHormonesin
Food
.N.p.,n.d.Web.11Aug.2015.<http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/>.
"GMOHealthDangers|InstituteforResponsibleTechnology."
InstituteforResponsible
Technology
.N.p.,n.d.Web.11Aug.2015.<http://www.responsibletechnology.org/>.
3. Describe,inafewparagraphs,thebiotechnologythatyouresearched.Howisit
currentlybeingusedand/orwhatarethehopesforitsuseinthefuture?(10
points)
Geneticallymodifiedorganisms,orGMOs,areorganismsthathavebeengeneticallychanged
byhumanstoproduceacertaineffect.Oftentimes,plantsaregeneticallyalteredtocontainand
producepesticides,increasethecropyield,and/ortoshortenthematurationtimeoftheplants.
Thesemutationsaredonesothatlesscropsareeatenbypests,andsoplantscangrow
strongerandfaster.
Geneticmodificationtoorganismsgoeshandinhandwithpopulationgrown.Asmorepeople
needtobefed,technologicaladvancesinagricultureneedtooccursothatfarmerscanproduce
theamountoffoodnecessarytofeedapopulation.Thismeansthatmorecropsmustbe
producedinashorteramountoftime.ManyGMOswereintroducedfirsttoberesistantto

pesticides.Alargenumberofcropscanbedestroyedwhenmothsorotherpestseatthem,and
pesticidesoftencontainchemicalsthatcanharmplants.ApesticidecalledBtwassplicedinto
manyplantgenessothattheplantsthemselveswouldproducethepesticide,makingthem
resistanttobugs.Oncegeneticmodificationtechnologywasreadilyavailable,scientistsand
farmerscontinuedtoadvancethemodificationofcropsbyaddingnutrientstohelpthemgrow
faster,stronger,andproduceahigheryield.Theproductionofmorecropsinagivenamountof
timemeansmorefoodisavailableforthegrowingpopulation.
Hormonesaddedtoanimalsareanotherformofgeneticmodification.Hormonesaregivento
animals,likecowsandpigs,tohelpthemgainweightfaster,reducingtheamountoftime
neededfortheanimalstogrowtoasizeforslaughter.Otherhormonescanbeintroducedto
cowstoincreasetheirmilkproduction.Differenthormonesinanimalsdodifferentthings,but
theyallareusedtomanipulategenesandgenefunctionsforthepurposeofproducingabetter
yieldforfood.
Asofnow,noanimalshavebeengeneticallymodifiedinthewaysplantshaveforfood.While
hormonesmanipulatethegenesofanimals,wehavenotactuallychangedthegeneticmaterials
inanimalsthewaywehavewithmanyplants.However,thereareplanstodothisinthefuture.
Fastergrowingsalmonisonewaythatscientistshavebeentestinggeneticmodificationin
animals.Thesesalmonwouldbemodifiedtogrowatafasterrateandreproducequicklysothat
ashortertimeisneededforthesalmontomature.
4. Describethepositiveaspectsofthisbiotechnology,beingasspecificaspossible.
(5points)
Oneofthemainprosofgeneticmodificationsinfoodisthatmorefoodisavailabletofeedthe
publicbecauseofit.Withtheincredibleincreaseinpopulationinthelastcentury,food
manufacturingmustbeabletokeepup.Traditionalagriculturaltechniquessimplycannot
sustaintheenormouspopulationoftheworld.However,withgeneticmodificationoffood,more
foodcanbeproducedinashorteramountoftime,somorefoodbecomesavailabletofeedthe
growingpopulation.
Economically,geneticmodificationinfoodisalsobeneficial.Withmoresupplyoffoodavailable
becauseofgeneticmodification,thecostoffoodgoesdown.Lowerclassfamiliesandthose
strugglingtoeathaveabetteropportunitytogetthefoodtheyneedbecausethecostoffood
hasdecreased.
5. Describethenegativeaspectsofthisbiotechnology,beingasspecificas
possible.(5points)
Agriculturally,oneofthebiggestconstogeneticmodificationtofoodisthethreatof
pesticideresistantbugs.Somemothsandotherpestsarenaturallyresistanttopesticides
producedbygeneticallymodifiedcrops,sotheyareabletosurviveandbreed,creatinganew
populationofstrongerbugsthatarenotaffectedbythepesticides.Ifthisoccurs,theninthe

future,newactionsmusttakeplacetoprotecttheplantsagainstthesesuperbuglikepeststhat
areunaffectedbypesticides.
Anotherconcernwiththegeneticmodificationtofoodisourhealth.Manystudiessuggestthat
theremightbealinkbetweenGMOsandanincreasedrisktocancers,allergens,andnutrition
problems.TherehavebeenstudiestoobservetheeffectofGMOsonanimals,andinmost
cases,theeffectswerefrightening.Miceandgrazinganimalswhohaveregularlyeaten
geneticallymodifiedfoods,oftenthosecontainingtheBtpesticide,endedupweak,ill,ordead.
Therearestrongconcernsthatthesesameeffectsmaytransferovertopeople.
AlongwiththehealthconcernofGMOswithhumans,thehealthofanimalsfedwithgenetically
modifiedfeedisanothergraveconcern.Cowsandpigsthatarefedwithgeneticallymodified
cornoftenareill,andinclosequartersonmanyfarms,theseillnessesspreadtotheother
animalsquickly.
Fromaneconomicstandpoint,geneticallymodifiedfoodscreatesamonopolyonfood
production.Oftentimes,wealthy,developedcountriesaretheonlyonestohaveaccesstothese
geneticallymodifiedfoods.Countrieswithoutaccessarenotabletokeepupwiththeproduction
usingtraditionalmethods.Thiscreatesamonopolyonthepartofthedevelopedcountries.They
aretheoneswhoholdlargeamountsofcrops,aswellastheabilitytocreatemoreofthese
crops,andthushaveaneconomicpoweroverthecountriesthatneedthesecropsforfood.
6. Basedonyourresearch,whatisyourconclusionaboutwhetherornotthis
biotechnologyshouldbeused?Besuretoexplainyouranswer.(5points)
Asawhole,therearemanymoreconsthanproswithgeneticmodificationforfoodproduction.
WhiletheseGMOsleadtoahigheryieldofcrops,theylikelyhavedangeroushealtheffects,as
wellasnegativeeffectsontheeconomiesofalargepartoftheworld.GMOsshouldbephased
out,andnewtechnologiesthatproducecropsinasaferwayshouldbeused.Genetically
modifiedorganismsinfoodproductionsimplyposetoomanypossiblethreatsthattheyarenot
worththerisksinvolved.