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Genetically modified food: definition and meaning

1. Genetically modified Food: Definition and meaning?

2. Benefits and Dangers of GMO?

3. 10 different crops from GMO: The Need for it?

4. Microbiology and GMO?

The report shall put an insight in GMO or genetically modified food and its use in the daily life of modern day. The crops produced out of GMO and the benefits of such food in the society.  Further in a globe of reducing resources and growing demand the role of GMO would be elaborated herein along with the microbiological effects of GMO. Nevertheless, the dangers of GMO in the human life is also elucidated to build a whole some picture of genetic modification in food, as practiced along with 10 different examples of food crop that have seen genetic modified cultivation.

Genetically Modified Organism or GMO in food is not a new story for all in the globe of this millennia. This process entails a laboratory process where the DNA of one species is artificially extracted and put into the genetic formation of a plant or animal to see the better qualities of the artificially injected genes in the plant or animal. The product is ‘transgenetic’ organisms that have undergone genetic modification (Gruissem, 2011). When a plant species is added with certain genes the plant grows differently with the added or modified qualities or genes that have been made out of the genetic engineering. This ensures that the plat have an enhanced quality of growth and production that was not possible in its original or natural genetic form. Thus the genetic modification brings in the qualities like resistance to specific plat disease or fungus, enhanced production of crop, reduced vulnerability to the climatic disorders while growing the plant making the genetic modifications, alterations to the organism or plant species developed (Ismat, 2015).

The world is bending towards the genetically modified food as the predictability of the crop and quality is higher than the non mutated plants. However, the counter argument is that the circumvention of natural laws has lead to high mutation that has lead to unpredictable changes and has lead to toxic and allergic reactions on animal species feeding on them. Nevertheless, genetic mutation have been practiced for centuries that have lead to selective breeding, tissue culture, hybrid formation those produce better plants but this have no effect in terms of changing the natural laws of plant growth and production as GMO has.

Benefits and dangers of GMO

The world has experienced both the benefits and dangers of genetically modified food in last decade. The benefits suites when the production of crop is more, the amount of grain and the quality of the grain and the outputs are greater than non modified genetic products or grains. Since selective genes those enables plants to develop few qualities those ensure that the grower gets the desired benefits for what he sows, the GMO food is a pertinent choice among the producers. The benefits are there where the producer can grow more crops in the previously allocated space where the guarantee of the crop production is more due to genetic modification of the plant. However, when looked deep the process also entails an unpredictable result which may have imprecise results when put to test (McNeil, 1993). Living modified organisms are unprecedented in result generation so what is to be expected remains a question that is answered only when the production and consumption cycle is completed. A small electrical pulse or a very small syringe may do the modification in the host cells to produce or have the qualities those in the natural world it never had those benefits the plat growth, sustenance and production.

Human since 14,000 years have used selective breeding of domesticated plans to produce the outcome that suites the artificial selection. These methods have given the human an edge over the natural disasters and traits of plants that could only grow and produce in certain condition (Kuntz, 2003). These have led to consistency of production that fed the human population for centuries. This mix of similar specie is called cisgenic while if the species contain oligonucleotides from different species is called transgenic combinations which may contain synthetic sequencing of DNA too. Benefits in gene therapy are where pharmaceutical drugs are produced or in the golden rice like plant modification those are resistant to herbicides. The same technique used in human body to identify few cellular structures and movement for medicinal causes are called GFP (Genetically Florescent Protein) for human diseases are beneficial (Richardson, 1985). Again, modified genetically are few modified bacteria for protein insulin production to treat diabetics. Corn, carrot, tobacco are few crop variety to name those have been modified for therapeutic purpose and to be naturally resistant to any fungal infection those may destroy them. Nevertheless the genetically modified food controversies have been a big chapter of study in such genetic modification days. There is a common consensus that genetically modified food consumption have no effects on human health and the study to infer whether such product is substantially no harming to the consumer is on. No report of human health case have been detected yet from genetically modified food yet and in US and CANADA the use of GMO or non GMO food are not considered different and are marketed without any such labels. Thus in human food consumption the product of GMO had been beneficial as per the cases registered under US food and Drug authority (Smith, 1999).

10 different crops from GMO: The need for it

However, few organizations like Greenpeace, Organic Consumer association have complain that states the risks are not adequately identified and thus the outcomes is yet to be judged as good or bad (Zhu, 2010). Few have to say the long term harm is yet to be identified while the food derived from GMO needs mandatory labelling. Further effect on environment, rigor of regulatory health processes, mixing of non GMO with GMO foods are to be further tested before such communalisation is done. The danger is post 1960s the labelling of food those have no artificial sweetener, preservatives, flavours are been considered organic food which have no issues of Genetic modification in them, creating a halo effect (Don, 2010). The US perceptions show that the public eating genetically modified food is harmful and they have expressed consumer controls over such food being eaten. Hence the dangers in perception remains while the benefits of having crop without any hindrance with specific qualities too also remains vibrant. 

The various GMO food now found to be grown and consumed across the globe are like rice, corn, tomatoes etc. Thus the food those are modified and placed is seen in a brief (Hansen, 2011).

Soybeans: Soybeans all across the globe (59%) are genetically modified as on 2007 report of production. Used by both humans and cattle 40 million tonnes go to Europe itself to feed the domesticated cattle like cow, swine, chicken as well as used in many a food additive as consumed by Human.

Maize: Maize is the leading growing plant of Europe and is meant for animal feed and starch industry. Such crop is insect resistant, herbicide tolerant and US produces 80 % of the genetically modified maize. The maize goes into food product like cornflake, popcorn, canned sweet corn etc. Half of the starch produced from maze goes into food in Europe.

Wheat: No genetically wheat is not grown in any place on earth now but since 2004 it was prominent. Farmers fear that the markets like Asia and Europe would reject such product but the benefits have been the GMO wheat has had better herbicide resistant reducing the cost and enhancing the chance to predict the outputs of the planted crops.

Rapeseed: Even few decades back rapeseed was not a staple crop in North America but the use of the same in margarine have increased the production. Further its use as industrial oil, biodiesel, lubricants have increased the need for its use. Canada and US have used rapeseed for food and fodder of animals in the resent years and have also shown effects on health like lowering cholesterol and increased vitamin E in its content. Further the efficiency of rapeseed in herbicide and weed control have enhanced its use and production among the north American farmers in the recent days.

Sugar beets: The GMO sugar beets are tolerant to the herbs and fungal damages. The beet had been approved for imports and food and animal feed processes but is yet to be cultivated in large quantities. This herbicide resistance have made the production of sugar beet easy and alternative weed resistant plant in the field. The field trials of sugar beets in the US have met the expectations and the study show a 100 USD savings on herb detection and destruction of GMO Sugar beets.

Potato: The use of potato in starch industry as well as food crop is being done on GMO platforms where the Europe shows that one in every four cultivated seed end up as food for people and the rest goes for starch or animal fodder. The starch produced by Potato is good for animal fodder and human nutrition where the use and emphasis of Amylopctin is 80% and very necessary for the use of it. The GMO to get herbicide resistant potato with enhanced amount of the needed starch is been promoted. The GMO potatoes have shown resistant to pest and diseases as well making the use and need for such potato very demanding in the international market (Richardson, 1985).

Rice: Rice is a staple food for half of the global population and is considered to be a source of economy strength measurer in Asian nations. The GMO rice is now on fields in many a nation but still in a nascent stage as the large scale production is yet to start. Controlling weeds is reason 80% of the rice fields prefer. New ways of competing pests and diseases in crop as well as get modified rice with enriched vitamins are the reason the GMO rice finds use. Other use is flooding resistant, salinity resistant rise breeds to be grown in parts and conditions previously incapable of rice production in major areas of China, India and SE Asian nations. The cultivation in near future is expected for the GMO rice in major parts of Asia soon.

Cotton: Cotton not only provides fibres for cloth and textile but is also important as animal feed. GM cotton in China, India and US have shown greater production and a drastic reduction of price of pesticides. This has modified the use of cotton as cash crop for a vast number of people in the subcontinent. Interestingly the allergenicity of the GM plants has been reduced with the commercial use of the cotton which has shown no adverse effects on users yet (Kuntz, Marcel, 2012).

In this regard the genetic biologist has predicted that the GM can be used in reduction of allergies too creating hypo-allergic reactions on the users. Nevertheless, products with one genetic difference are different from products with multiple genetic modifications and needs more tests before deemed fit for human or animal use (Parul, Goyal, 2011).

The GMO or modifications are part of the microbial world connections too. Each microbiologist has made it clear that the use of genetic modifications needs testing before use on the people. The long and short term effects are yet to be tried and discovered while the mandate of using the same in treatment of disease and recovering the deficiencies are huge along with nutritional benefit additions. The field of microbiology is involved in identification and development of the genetic characters of plants to make them more sustainable with identification of the genetic structures (Miura, Natsuko et al, 2008).


The report had an inward look into both pros and cons of genetically modified food items in the human body.  The positivists are more and thus the future of genetically modified food is great too but the effort to neutralize the effects of GMO on human and animal health on the long run is on. The future seems bright when the globe would have enough to eat and feed its people with no alteration of the volume needed and in a globe of poverty and hunger the human would sustain without the dire need for food to live upon. Further the dietaries can be improved with use of such food with added nutrition that would benefit millions and more land which are no cultivated can be brought under cultivation.

Ahmadov S., Ismat. 'Genetically Modified Organisms Is A Serious Threat To Biodiversity Of Azerbaijan'. gmo (2015): n. pag. Web.

C.F., Zhu. 'Vitamin, Protein And Essential Mineral Enhancement Of Cereal Crops For Food Security'. gmo (2010): n. pag. Web.

'Chinese Consumers’ Attitude Towards Genetically Modified Foods-Taking Genetically Modified Soybean Oil As An Example'. J Food Process Technol 5.12 (2014): n. pag. Web.

'Detection Of Genetically Modified Food: Has Your Food Been Genetically Modified?'. The American Biology Teacher 64.6 (2002): 433-442. Web.

Don,. 'Rheology Division Connects Scientists From Across The Globe In Ghent'. CFW (2010): n. pag. Web.

'Genetically-Modified Soybeans'. Food and Chemical Toxicology 34.9 (1996): 924. Web.

Gruissem, W. 'Crop Biofortification-GMO Or Non-GMO'. Journal of Biotechnology 150 (2010): 116-116. Web.

Hansen, Ryan Christopher. 'Developing Internationally Uniform Liability Principles For Harms From Genetically Modified Organisms'. SSRN Electronic Journal n. pag. Web.

Kuntz, Marcel. 'Destruction Of Public And Governmental Experiments Of GMO In Europe'. GM Crops & Food 3.4 (2012): 258-264. Web.

McNeil, Adrian. 'Why Hindustani Musicians Are Good Cooks: Analogies Between Music And Food In North India'. Asian Music 25.1/2 (1993): 69. Web.

Miura, Natsuko et al. 'Cell-Surface Modification Of Non-GMO Without Chemical Treatment By Novel GMO-Coupled And -Separated Cocultivation Method'. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 82.2 (2008): 293-301. Web.

Parul, Goyal. 'Factors Influencing Public Perception: Genetically Modified Organisms'. gmo (2011): n. pag. Web.

'Retraction: GMO Debate: Inconclusive'. Front. Genet. (2013): n. pag. Web.

Richardson, T. 'Chemical Modifications And Genetic Engineering Of Food Proteins'. Journal of Dairy Science 68.10 (1985): 2753-2762. Web.

Smith, Suzanne. 'Genetically Modified Food'. New Zealand Journal of Geography 108.1 (1999): 32-32. Web.

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