For years grocery shoppers have been buying and eating genetically modified foods whether they knew it or not. At first even people who did know they were eating genetically modified food didn’t worry about it because they saw no reason to. But as more information from scientific studies has reached consumers, more people are beginning to wonder if some medical problems might be linked to the consumption of these foods.
For any scientific endeavor to be in the best interest of society, the benefits must outweigh the disadvantages. There are supposed advantages with genetically modified food, but some research is suggesting the disadvantages may win out in the long run.
The Basic Principles of Genetic Modification
Broadly speaking, there are two ways that a food crop can be genetically modified. The first method has been around since our ancestors first began to actually grow food instead of just foraging for it.
That method is usually called cross-breeding. You find the individuals of a specific plant that have more of a characteristic that is desirable — say, more and bigger berries. Take the seeds from those plants and grow them close together so that the pollen from one fertilizes others. Pick the individuals from that group of plants that have the biggest and most berries and plant only the seeds from them.