Debunking the Top 9 myths of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is one of the most controversial subject. Depending on one’s point of view, these myths might be dangerous or hold the seeds of truth. Here are the list of 9 myths of biotechnolgy which has been widely misunderstood:

1. Biotech products are rejected by consumers

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, 222 million acres in 21 countries were used to grow biotech crops. That means farmers were buying them.

2. Biotechnology will help benefit Third World Farmers

Genetically engineered plants are patented and is under private companies which makes them more expensive than indigenous crop

3. Biotechnology benefits farmers in the US and other First World countries

Innovations in agriculture are largely profit-driven and the focus of genetic engineering is to create profitability. Farmers become dependent on industrial inputs that are patented and copyrighted and can’t even share, store or reproduce seeds.

4. Genetically engineered produce will help to eliminate the need for toxic pesticides.

Most engineered plants have been genetically altered to withstand herbicide so it can be used, or to produce their own insecticides. Example: Roundup Ready soybeans are literally created to withstand Roundup weed-killer.

5. Genetically engineered can make food taste better, last longer, and be more nutritious.

Yes, the purple potato is a wonder of science, and thanks to the purpleness, it is a little healthier than your average spud. Melons at UC Davis are currently being engineered to smell better to entice people to buy them in the stores. But that’s the catch – Biotech companies will create what sells, not out of selflessness, but out of economics.

6. Biotech crops will transfer herbicide resistant genes to nearby weeds

It is not impossible but  some of the more problematic weeds are genetically close to the crops growing near them and cross-pollination could happen. Corn and canola cross-breed are generally easily.

7. Genetically engineered crops will have a higher yield

According to many studies conducted on the economics of engineered crops, there are no findings which supports an economic advantage to planting GE seeds (unless you’re a GE seed manufacturer or pesticide company).

8. Biotechnology will lead to the conservation of biodiversity

Biotech can create a variety of commercial plants, thus contributing to biodiversity, but it’s more advantageous to the patent-holders of biotech seeds to create international markets for their few, specialized products. In other words, it could happen, but it won’t.

9. Genetically modified corns will kill butterflies

This myth came from a study at Cornell University which reported Monarch caterpillars in a laboratory setting died due to pollen from Bt corn. However, the researchers stress that the study was done in a lab, and therefore the findings are inconclusive regarding how Monarch butterflies are affected in the field.

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

10 Bizzare Medical Technologies that is set to amaze you in 2017 Many of these breakthroughs we have today weren’t available few years ago. The more technological our world becomes, the more options we have when...
10 common food that you probably did not know was a GMO GMO or Genetically Modified Organism are the plants and animals whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally b...
10 Outcomes of Agro biotech which is improving the global agricultural sector Biotechnology has often been considered  alike with biomedical research, but there are many other industries which take advantage of biotech metho...
10 quick and interesting DNA facts that you probably didnt know Here is the top ten list of DNA  facts you didnt know about: 1.Your girlfriend can smell your DNA. Studies have shown that women are more attrac...
10 Trending Bio-tech topics of this year that you should not miss Whether it is about using biorobots or using nanoparticles for gene delivery, biotechnology companies are blooming with new ideas. Here is a hot list ...
10 ways how 3D printing is transforming the biotech industry A woman living on a dialysis machine is grown a new kidney using her own cells!  An old man struggling with age-related vision loss has his eyesight r...
12 bizzare mental disorders you never knew existed While most of us have heard about the most commonly discussed mental disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or schizophrenia, there are a num...