GM Crops

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.

Potential Benefits

  • 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

Potential Risks

  • 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