The conditions fit the temper of the day—overcast and gloomy. Sam. a work survey pupil in the works genetic sciences section at State University. glanced through the hole that had been cut in the side of the nursery and so went back to brushing up the floor. The nursery had been broken into nightlong. Outside the vandals had spray-painted “Stop Genetic Mutilation! ” on the walls of the nursery. Inside it was pandemonium. It looked like they had gone after the sprinkler system with twists and cocks. and the trial secret plans had been upturned and the workss trodden under pes. Sam watched Professor Bob Milikin. who usually didn’t come to campus on Mondays. easy enter the nursery. pale and tight-lipped. agitating his caput as he stepped over the dust and surveyed the harm. There had been a recent roseola of these onslaughts around the state. but largely on the West Coast. and he had ne’er imagined it might go on here. The sarcasm was that in their instance merely 15 per centum of the uprooted workss were genetically engineered.

The remainder of the workss had been developed utilizing traditional genteelness techniques. The workss that had been genetically modified were portion of an experiment proving possible familial technology techniques for cut downing the usage of pesticides. He couldn’t understand it. “This was research to profit the environment. ” he said aloud to no 1 in peculiar. “To find a manner to develop a plentiful. safe. healthy harvest without utilizing so many chemicals. ” It was no little job. An estimated 100. 000 chemicals—about 2. 5 million tons—are in usage worldwide. About 10 per centum of the 70. 000 chemicals used in the United States are carcinogenic. In 1992. the World Health Organization reported that three million pesticide toxic conditions occur each twelvemonth. with 220. 000 deceases.

A survey by the U. S. Department of Agriculture had shown that pesticide residues can prevail on fruits and veggies even after they’ve been washed. peeled. or cored. And there was strong grounds for associations between lymphomas and soft-tissue sarcomas and certain weedkillers. and between lung malignant neoplastic disease and exposure to organo-chlorine insect powders. Scientists believed that pesticides could ensue in immune system disfunction and might be linked to the increasing asepsis in worlds and other animate beings. peculiarly in males.

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A figure of provinces in the U. S. had plans in topographic point to cut down pesticide usage by 50 to 75 per centum. Mina. one of the alumnus pupils in Bob’s research group. rose from the floor where she had been sifting through some of the uprooted workss. Her research had involved engendering native assortments of sorghum to increase their opposition to drought. “They don’t truly understand what we’re making here. do they? ” she said as she caught Bob’s oculus. “These workss had nil to make with familial technology. But even if they did. isn’t that what we’re supposed to make at a research university?

Try to larn whether something like transgenic workss are a good thing or non? ” Mina had come from West Africa to analyze works genetic sciences at State University on a scholarship given to her by her country’s authorities. For her state. as for many developing states. familial technology held out the promise of greater harvest outputs and the possibility of feeding 1000000s of ill-fed and starved people. Surveies conducted by Nipponese research workers at Nagoya University and the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources had reported output additions of 10 to 35 per centum in transgenic rice in tests in China and Korea.

Mina idea of the other benefits of genetically modified nutrients. They could be engineered to present more foods. cut down spoilage. restrict chemical taint. even provide immunisation against disease. She thought of the research underway to genetically present vaccinums against diarrhea-causing bacteriums into 3rd universe harvests such as bananas. Although great advancement had been made in inoculating kids in much of the universe. in the poorest states comparatively small had been achieved.

That meant that about 20 per centum of the world’s babies were left vulnerable to atrocious diseases harmonizing to the World Health Organization. Inoculating these kids was about impossible with the current engineering. The vaccinums available had to be injected. with the exclusion of the unwritten infantile paralysis vaccinum. Injections were expensive and debatable in much of the universe. Vaccines need to be refrigerated from the point of industry to the point of usage and their bringing by needle normally required skilled medical forces. The acerate leafs themselves were potentially risky. Contaminated acerate leafs can frequently make more to distribute a disease than contain it.

But if kids could be inoculated by merely eating a genetically modified banana. it would be possible for 1000000s to be protected from dangerous diseases like dysentery in a comparatively cheap and easy mode. But Mina knew there was turning resistance in this state to biotechnology—opposition that seemed to take its cue and many of its tactics from environmental militants in Europe and Britain.

She had a friend. Erik. analyzing at the London School of Economics. who was vehemently opposed to corporate biotechnology. He and Mina normally steered clear of the subject in the letters they wrote one another these yearss. but Mina knew what his positions were. He had written to Mina of the dangers of corporate amalgamations that concentrated works genteelness and genetic sciences in the custodies of a few big transnational corporations. Erik was outraged that these companies plundered cistrons from 3rd universe states. which they instantly patented and so held surety. doing the autochthonal husbandmans of these states buy back the rights to turn their ain seeds.

These companies. he had written Mina. weren’t interested in consumer safety or continuing the environment or biodiversity except in the narrowest sense of how these might impact their net incomes or be profitable to them. In Europe. non merely did assorted consumer. environmental. and preservation groups oppose the growth of genetically modified harvests on their dirt but besides their being imported from outside. Erik had appealed to Mina’s sense of history. stating her that she of all people. whose state had been under the yoke of a European imperialist power for coevalss. should help and abet this new signifier of corporate imperialism. In his last missive to Mina. Erik hadn’t written anything at all. He had merely included a cutting of a newspaper article denoting the successful sequencing of the familial codification of rice by two major agro-biotech companies.

The discovery was being hailed as a “major accomplishment that could pave the manner for betterments in a harvest that is the basic nutrient for half the world’s population. ” Erik had underlined those subdivisions in the article that voiced concerns about corporations deriving more and more control over agricultural research and the world’s nutrient supply. And he had put an emphasized exclaiming point next to the quotation mark from a professor at an American university who was take parting in a publically funded rice genome undertaking who had said: “One thing people could reason is. how can a company own the most of import nutrient harvest in the universe? ” Sam glanced at his ticker. He had 10 proceedingss before his following category. He might hold clip to catch a java.

As he walked toward the forepart of the nursery with the broom. he glanced over at Mina. who was still on her articulatio genuss. He knew that a year’s worth of her work had been destroyed and that she’d have to return to her state unrewarded. Sam felt bad about what had happened. but he had ever believed that there was something non rather right about all of this—about fiddling with the cistrons of life things—plants. and animate beings. He thought of that monkey he had seen on the news—the 1 that had been genetically engineered with the Deoxyribonucleic acid of a jellyfish. Now that. he thought. was truly creepy. STUDY QUESTIONS

1. Find a definition of “genetically modified being. ” How are genetically modified organisms different from non-genetically modified beings? 2. The recent Acts of the Apostless of militants intent on devastation of research secret plans included workss altered by molecular every bit good as classical familial techniques. Is it possible to separate between workss altered by classical genetic sciences and those altered by modern techniques? If it is possible. how is it done? 3. What precautions are in topographic point to protect Americans from insecure nutrient? Are these methods science-based?

4. Name as many illustrations as you can of injury to citizens from insecure nutrient. What per centum of these unwellnesss was caused by particular familial alterations? 5. How have familial alterations of fruits and veggies improved harvests with regard to nutritionary composing. shelf life. eating quality. outputs. and disease opposition? 6. Can you depict a scenario in which public wellness and safety might be threatened by nutrient harvests modified by biotechnology? 7. Does biotechnology present any hazards to the environment? If so. what are these hazards? 8. Be at that place any ground to be concerned by the function of private corporations in the development of agricultural biotechnology? Should companies be allowed to patent beings? 9. Are the militants justified in their Acts of the Apostless of hooliganism against nutrient that has been modified through biotechnology? Why or why non? 10. Make you believe there are good grounds for utilizing legal agencies against the development of biotechnology-modified nutrients? Why or why non? Reference

Bent. Andrew F. . and I. Ching Yu. 1999. Applications of molecular biological science to works disease and insect opposition. In: Donald L. Sparks. Editor. Progresss in Agronomy. V. 66:251-298. Bell. Ted. Vandals strike 2 private farm Fieldss. Genetic technology protest expands. The Sacramento Bee. September 30. 1999. Boulter. D. 1997. Scientific and public perceptual experience of works familial manipulation—a critical reappraisal. Critical Reviews in Plant Science 16 ( 3 ) :231-251. Ford-Lloyd. Brian. and Kevin Painting. 1996. Measuring Familial Variation Using Molecular Markers. Version 1. 2. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ipgri. cgiar. org/training/unit10-1-4/unit10-1-4. htm Glausiusz. Jose. 1998. The great cistron flight. Discover 91-96. Frewer. Lynn F. . Chaya Howard and Jackie I. Aaron. 1998. Consumer credence of transgenic harvests. Pesticide Science 52:388-393. Kasler. Dale. Vandals work stoppage biotech harvests: Woodland installation hit. The Sacramento Bee. May 26. 2000. McElroy. David. 1999. Traveling biotech downstream. Nature Biotechnology 17:1071-1074. Pimentel. D. . T. W. Culliney and T. Bashore. 2000.

Public wellness hazards associated with pesticides and natural toxins in nutrients. University of Minnesota National IPM Network. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ipmworld. umn. edu/chapters/pimentel. htm Pollack. A. . and C. K. Yoon. January 27. 2001. Rice genome called a harvest discovery. New York Times. Section A. Page 10. Column 4. Ronald. Pamela C. 1997. Making rice disease-resistant. Scientific American. 100-105. We back biotech! Public run launched on behalf of biotechnology. Spudman May/June 2000. p. 6. ( See www. spudman. com and World Wide Web. whybiotech. com )

Talcott. Sasha. Militants ruin harvests at research centre owned by UC-Berkeley. Daily Californian. May 26. 2000. U. California-Berkeley. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. dailycal. org/article. php? id=2647 Wolfenbarger. L. L. . and P. R. Phifer. The ecological hazards and benefits of genetically engineered workss. Science 290 ( 5499 ) :2088-2093. December 15. 2000 ( Review Article ) . World Health Organization. 1992. Our planet. our wellness: Report of the WHO committee on wellness and environment. Geneva: World Health Organization. World Resources 2000-2001. The World Resources Institute. New York: Oxford University Press. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. wri. org

AgBioView Discussion List Archives hypertext transfer protocol: //comet. sparklist. com/scripts/lyris. pl? visit=agbioview Agricultural Biotechnology. 2000. USDA. Frequently Asked Questions. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. Aphis. usda. gov/brs/ Action Group on Erosion. Technology and Concentration ( once Rural Advancement Foundation International ) hypertext transfer protocol: //www. rafi. org

Image Recognition: Image used with permission from the United States Department of Agriculture Photo Library. Date Posted: 02/01 megabit. Last updated: 08/08/03 sodiums
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