Disadvantages

Many people are concerned with the negative side effects of GMO’s.

The GM crops that produce insecticides can create toxins that aren’t safe for the environment, or may pose potential health hazards upon consumption.

In animal studies, researchers found potential pre-cancerous cell growth, immune system damage, and higher death rates[1].

There has not been many studies on long term safety, which is vital since once GMO’s are out there, there’s no recalling them back[1].

Outcrossing is the process of engineered genes, from GM crops, being transfered across to convention crops or other wild plants. This poses potential health and safety issues because it can cause contamination of normal crops without anyone knowing[1][4][13]. An example of this was in the US in 2010 when GM corn approved for animal feed got into corn products that were consumed by humans[8].

With increased herbicide tolerance, these genes can transfer to other plants in the environment and create super weeds[4]. Similarly, with increased pesticide production in the GM crops, the genes can transfer to bugs and create super bugs[4].

During purification of the bacteria, one way to only select for the bacteria with the trans-gene is to introduce an antibiotic resistant gene along with the desired gene into the plasmid. Then to purify, antibiotics can be used to kill off all the bacteria that have not taken up the plasmid. This creates a problem in that when these are ingested, it can make the bacteria in the gut develop antibiotic resistance. Although, the probability of the transfer of this antibiotic resistant gene is low [13].

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