A GM (Genetically modified) or transgenic crop is a plant that has a novel combination of genetic material obtained using modern biotechnology. Modern biotechnology techniques including gene guns, electroporation, microinjection and agrobacterium for adding or removing a gene and CRISPR, ZEN and TALEN for gene editing.
What’s modifications made in GM crops?
a: Transgenesis, insertion of recombinant elements in which one or more components (gene, promoter (P) and terminator(T)) are taken from sexually incompatible gene pool.
b: Genome editing, introduction of targeted mutation at specific loci in the genome. The final product is entirely free of transgenes
1994, The first GM crop was released for commercialization- Calgene’s delayed-ripening tomato (Flavr-Savr™)
Now, a total of 525 transgenic events in 32 crops have been commercialized (ISAAA database 2019)
More than 70 countries/regions with GM crop Approval.
- Raise productivity
- Increase farm profit
- No tillage and minimum tillage practices to decline soil erosion
- Improve herbicide and pest management
- Less use of pesticides
- More nutritious food
- Tastier food
- Require fewer environmental resources (e.g. Disease- and abiotic stress resistant use less water and fertilizer)
- Increased supply of food with reduced cost and longer shelf life
- Faster growing plants and animals to feed the world
- Food with more desirable traits
- Medicinal foods that could be used as vaccines or other medicines
- Genetic contamination, outcrossing of GM crops to non-GM crops or related wild species
- Foods that are less nutritious
- Increase allergic reactions in human
- Disruption of biodiversity
- Release of unknown toxins to soil
- Development of ‘Super’ pests/herbs
- Facilitate simple farming (monocultures)
- Higher price of GM seeds, small farm is unaffordable.
- GM seeds controlled by a few seed companies