Science Should Inform GMO Debate Read More At: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000178148/science-Should-Inform-Gmo-Debate/

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By Prof Hamadi Boga Updated Thursday, October 1st 2015

Debate on GMOs is always funny and tragic because most of the time it is guided by emotions, fear and ignorance. Let me highlight a few facts to debunk some misconceptions.

For centuries, man has improved food production by manipulating crops and animals through breeding. Modern biotechnology has only enabled man to know the structure of the genetic material where the information of any particular traits in an organism is stored. Scientists now know how to multiply these genes in vitro (in the test-tube).

The ability to sequence genes and genomes means that we know the genes that encode any useful attributes. With the knowledge of the responsible genes and the skills to cut, join, and multiply DNA, scientists can now move genes.

A bacterium called Escherichia coli (E. coli) has been modified with the human insulin gene and is now able to produce insulin cheaply. Bacteria have been manipulated for production of antibiotics. None of the critics in this debate ever mention that many drugs are produced by genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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Photo of Keith Edmisten, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Keith EdmistenProfessor of Crop Science & Extension Cotton Specialist (919) 515-4069 keith_edmisten@ncsu.eduCrop and Soil Sciences - NC State University
Updated on Oct 1, 2015
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