Q and A About Genetically Modified Crops: Genetically Modified Crops. Take Part in the Dialogue: Global agriculture finds itself engrossed in a heated debate over genetically modified (GM) crops. This debate, which features science, economics, politics, and even religion, is taking place almost everywhere. It is going on in research labs, corporate boardrooms, legislative chambers, newspaper editorial offices, religious institutions, schools, supermarkets, coffee shops, and even in private homes. What is all the fuss about and why do people feel so strongly about this issue? This Pocket “K” attempts to shed light on the controversy by addressing several basic questions about GM crops.
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Genetic modification is a process known as genetic engineering. This means that the genes and DNA of one organism are being put into another organisms. This process first starts off in the lab with an artificial creation of the desired trait. In some cases the trait exists in another organism and scientists will simply extract the genes of that organism. The trait then becomes DNA. The scientists then physically add this new modified DNA to the organism through a structure that has looks like a shot one would receive at a doctor's office. Another method is through the introduction of the new DNA by means of bacteria, who act as a vector. Once the scientists obtain their new, modified DNA they inject this into a bacteria cell instead of the organism itself. They will then put the bacteria into the crop and allow it to infect the organism with the new DNA in the bacteria.