Friday, 25 January 2013

Draft 1: Literature Review by Ethan Ng

In the article viewed, Louise Chu starts off mentioning about the effects of GMO produce on human health:

"Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, generally refer to crop plants in which a gene has been introduced from another plant in a technique called gene-splicing to get the plant to express desirable traits, such as herbicide tolerance or insect resistance. Traditionally, getting plants to express desirable traits was done through plant breeding, but that can be time-consuming and produce results that aren’t always accurate."

Next, she goes into the fact that there are no confirmed health risks found although more research should be put into these areas, namely:

  • Allergenicity — When genes are transferred from one plant into another, there is potential to also transfer allergens. GMO crops do undergo extensive testing for allergenic effects, according to the WHO.
  • Gene Transfer — GMO foods potentially could introduce genetic material to cells of the body that could have adverse health effects, such as antibiotic resistance. The WHO says the probability of such a transfer is low, and it encourages the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes.
  • Outcrossing — When GMO crops are located near conventional crops or crop species in the wild, there’s a potential for seeds to mix by wind or insect pollination, having an effect on food safety and security. For example, the WHO cited an instance when traces of a maize approved only for animal feed use appeared in maize products for human consumption. 

Topics such as increased pesticide use were also explored, such as accidentally causing 'superweeds' which are mutated and adapted weeds resistant to most weedicides to form.

1 comment:

  1. Ethan, your review is lacking in your own input and interpretation of the article. You are summarising the article without drawing relevant connections to your project. For example, how are the ideas discussed in this article helpful in your planning or execution of your project? Try to work on this.