IILM College of Engineering and Technology

Genetically Modified Plant: Tomorrows plant,Designer plant

Some ten thousand years ago started which we call today- the Neolithic Revolution, was probably more a lengthy evolution than a revolution. At that time, human behavior had changed from hunting and gathering culture to an agriculture-based culture. Till the 19th century, agriculture and agriculture-related products were sufficient to meet the human requirements. By the 1960s, hunger and malnutrition were widespread, especially in Asia. By 2050 there will be another 2 billion mouths to feed. Rapid urbanization, industrial expansion, soil erosion, and climate changes lead to lesser productivity or low per capita production. Biotechnology provides a sustainable solution to these problems. The conceptualization of genetic engineering and the development of genetically modified plants have paved the way to counter the problem which arises due to the factors which are beyond the control of mankind.

There is enough scientific evidence that the application of genetic modification does not inherently increase or decrease the risk associated with an organism. It is now almost four decades since Genetically Modified (GM) crops were first grown commercially. Initially, GM rice (Golden rice) was successfully developed and commercialized. But the only substantial way that biotechnology has contributed to the well-being of the hungry is through higher incomes from the production of GM cotton. Now a considerable percentage of GM crops rule all over the world particularly in the USA and European countries.

However, there are concerns raised by the public and the critics about their applications and release into the environment. These include an effect on human health and environment, biosafety, world trade monopolies, loss of individual choice, and ethics as well as doubts about the real potential of the genetically modified plants, and so on. Such concerns are enormous and prevalent even today.

Moreover, most concerns are hypothetical and lack scientific credibility, but some concerns are still not disproved. However, these genetically modified plants have great potential and with the help of proper management, these can be proved beneficial for the people of a country like India.

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