Tomatoes with teeth: Food with a flavor of fear?

Humanity has already cleared and flooded with fertilizers and pesticides of 37% of the land sushi and continues to take 11 million hectares each year (another 2 million of the erosion eaten each year). Nevertheless, agricultural efficiency leaves much to be desired: half of the harvest also eaten weeds, insects and microorganisms, and from the remaining half disappears during storage. Only due to diseases of agricultural plants, humanity loses 50 trillion dollars every year. And this is at a time when every few seconds (according to different sources, from two to five), one child dies from hunger, and half of the population of the planet in one degree or another misbound. But there is no border ingenuity. To increase yields, create all new varieties and hybrids of plants (and new pesticides).

Recently, GMO is becoming increasingly distributed – genetically modified organisms. This combination of letters causes many people a real horror. Outows imagine GMOs as something average between weak tomatoes and aliens from space. But how are things really?

Ordinary mutants

Is it possible to consider the usual widespread agricultural crops? Most cultivated plants are the result of artificial selection of individuals with properties, useful person and useless, and more often – harmful plant itself: the peasants of thousands of years left the seeds of the best (from the point of view of a person) plants – mutants and hybrids.

Many cultural plants are interspecific hybrids. Wheat – the result of a multiple interspected crossing of various wild cereals among themselves and with already anchored species. Banana – hybrid of two inedible species, sterile and triploid: in its cells contain three copies of each chromosome, and not two, like most plants, animals and higher fungi; Many varieties of cultivated plants – tetra- and more -loid mutants. RAPS – descendant cabbage and coat. Corn – formerly a few cereal theosynt (Euchlana), who ancient Mexicans displeased without any genetic engineering so that his current descendant applies to another, not even a form, and the genus – corn (Zea). Wild Ussuri Soya Glycine Soja considered the nearest relative of cultural soy G. Max – But these are different species that are not able to cross and give a prolific offspring. Garden strawberry (it is familiar, although mistakenly, called strawberries), tobacco, allycha – interspecific hybrids. And cultivated plants that formally belong to the same mind that their wild ancestors turned out (from the point of view of survival in natural conditions) in the disgusting non-visual freaks.

One hundred years ago, breeders began to engage in the selection not at random, but according to the laws of genetics. To create new, even more crop and resistant monsters diseases, they began to produce mutants obtained as a result of action on the cells of plants of poisonous substances (for example, a good mutagenist was the Hyprint) and radiation. Types that do not want to engage in unnatural interspecific pollination, began to cross the way by direct fusion of cells. Such "traditional" methods of crossing various types, varieties with different properties and blows by mutagens in chromosomes lead to unpredictable consequences: the chromosomes are broken and rebuilt at the NAMA, together with the desired feature of mutant or hybrid plants, sometimes harmful. Barbaric methods of influence on the genome with which breeders used a hundred years ago and continue to use it now, the opponents of GMO seem natural, and they consider the "ordinary" plants, including the disgusting mutant and hybrid dwarfs, which, together with chemistry and agrotechnics, became the basis of "green revolution ".

GMO instead of Yadohimikatov

Conventional sugar beets are watered with herbo, insectic and other-sides ten times per season. Some varieties of bananas only have fungicides 24 times a year, every two weeks. In agriculture, more than ten thousand harmful people and nature of pesticides are used. Insect pests, plants – weeds, bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes and other species that live mostly for our account with you, adapt to this chemistry at the same speed, with which person invents new ways of defense and attacks in the Battle for the harvest.

It is impossible to abandon chemicals: without them a significant part of the crop will die. But their number can be significantly reduced, growing transgenic plants. One field processing of a high-lasting GMO resistant to herbicide replaces four treatments in the cultivation of ordinary varieties. The benefit is obvious – both for nature, for pocket, and for health: According to WHO, pesticides are annually poisoned almost half a million people, of which more than five thousand – deadly.

As a transgena (transferred gene) in the first generation, GMOs are most often used from the usual soil bacteria Bacillus Thuringiensis BT-toxin gene – protein, poisonous for insects and absolutely safe for mammals, including for a person. Favoring transgenic potatoes, the larvae of the colorado beetle die. Preparations from culture B. Thuringiensis and the protein isolated from it is used for half a century – and as "environmentally friendly" insecticide on private gardens, and for polling millions of hectares of forests against a nonparthen silkworm.

Inhibitors of proteases are also used to create insecticidal plants; proteins, overwhelming digestive enzymes. They are contained in many "ordinary" plants, including in the most common (especially many of them in legumes). When, after World War II, the Argentine bean flour was brought to Germany as humanitarian assistance, even the Germans who were accustomed to surrogates, products with its addition suppressed the action of the digestive enzyme trypsin and caused dyspepping, dystrophy and other unwanted consequences. True, to noticeably disrupt the assimilation of proteins, you need to eat a large amount of insufficiently failing legumes every day. And if cooking beans or beans 4 hours, protease inhibitors completely lose activity. In the same legumes in large quantities they contain lectins – proteins that help plants protect against microbes. But when creating GMOs, they are rarely used: some lectins may be too toxic for humans and animals.

Another popular transgene – the genus obtained from the bacteria Streptomyces PhosphinotricinetylTilTransferase enzyme gene (try to pronounce it without sticking!) capable of destroying one of the many herbicides – gluofosinat. Other genes embedded in tens of GMO first generation GMOs provide more resistance to about ten separate herbicides.

Let the weevon suppress

However, the transgenic varieties of the pests and the pathogens of the disease will also fit sooner or later, but ways to deal with this have long been known. The most visual – when the field is left not treated with chemicals or inhabited by untransgenic varieties – let the slighter suppress. In the photo, this usually looks like dark brown stripes (they are called refuge) on a golden field of transgenic corn, synthesizing BT-toxin.

In the spring of 2005, Japanese researchers managed to remove rice, steady not to one, but at least by fourteen different herbicides, forcing it to synthesize cytochrome CYP2B6, obtained from the chromosome of the most casual animal in the world Homo Sapiens (that is, a person). Articles about it appeared under the sorrowing names like "The horrors of the gene modification: the human liver gene is added in Pic". Cannibalism is expelled? In fact, cytochromas are proteins that participate in the oxygen exchange of any live cell, and human cytochrome, rice and some bacillos differ only in the details of the structure of the molecule. But sustainability immediately to many pesticides will allow one of the main problems of agriculture – the emergence of sustainable pests with many years of use of the same pesticide.

Security check

Transgenic plants have been grown for ten years. This is basically soy, corn, rapeseed (canola) and cotton, although allowed for use and non-dissectable transgenic tomatoes and melons, and resistant to papaya viruses, and hundreds of one hundred and a half varieties. In 2004, GMO occupied 81 million hectares, and these figures continue to grow. GMOs are most grown in the USA – it is 40% of all planting corn, 81% soybean, 65% canola (rape) and 73% cotton. But as things are dealing with human health?

It turns out that in this sense, transgenic plants are safer than "ordinary"! The safety of GMO is tested almost as strictly as medicines – in contrast to the varieties obtained by traditional methods. And if you go to ordinary plants with the same measure?

Potatoes – poisonous plant containing toxic glycoalkaloids Solan and Haconin. Especially many toxins contain damaged or green tubers. If any Columbus decided to grow potatoes and feed the Europeans now, and not five hundred years ago, he would never receive permission for it. Halmilliard man regularly and in large quantities eat maniacs, in which it is contained – hold onto the chair – cyanogenic glycosides, from 20-40 mg to 0.5 g of pure cyanide per kilogram! Dishes from manique prepared with deviations from the method developed by the method and tragic technology errors can easily lead to disability.

Tomatoes with teeth food with a flavor of fear

All cultivated plants, from oranges to barley, can cause an allergic reaction. You can refuse citrus, strawberries or chocolate, but what to do under the hereditary disease – celiac disease, when a person does not tolerate gluten, a protein that is contained in all cereals, except rice, corn and buckwheat? In severe cases, Molokiy died another 50 years ago, while allergologists did not find out the cause of this disease, and the dishwashers (literally after a couple of years) did not learn to produce expensive, but safe for patients with gluten-free products. Easy intolerance of the protein of cereals often remains intact – it is taken for colitis and other intestinal diseases. In cautious estimates, one European from a thousand is sick of moderate celiac. Asians the main food product – rice – often causes diffuse neurodermatitis. Africans allergenic peanuts – one of the main sources of protein.

Toxic substances in conventional plants often provide resistance to disease and pests. With conventional methods of crossing and selection, their content may increase, but the laws that prescribe specifically check the toxicity and allergenicity are taken only for genetically modified plants – and check them very carefully. And safe transgenic plants are considered to be influenced by the human body no more than their "ordinary" relatives.

Nature and genetics

The emergence of genetic engineering allowed to circumvent the laws of nature – to transfer genes from some organisms to other artificial methods to other. But after the introduction of a foreign GMO gene is subject to the same laws as ordinary plants. Therefore, for nature, transgenic plants are not more dangerous than ordinary.

In some respects, GMO is even better: only pests, which have become a poisonous protein, and the remaining insects remain alive die on the fields of insecticidal plants. And insectivore birds in the fields of ordinary plants treated with insecticide mass lesions, less – they have no one to peck.

Another common myth is the danger of the appearance of "Supported" – also sudden from the finger. Sorts resistant to diseases and pests (including due to substances, moderately poisonous for a person), thousands of years were detected by the methods of ordinary selection. Fewing the appearance of hybrids of cultivated plants with weeds did not occur to anyone exactly because in nature there are a lot of mechanisms that impede interspecific crossing. Hybrids between cultural plants and weeds, especially if they relate to related species, are possible, but they are doomed or for extinction, or for degeneration in the original wild form. Half chromosome in such a hybrid (a large or smaller half, depends on the number of chromosomes from parental species) will carry the genes of a cultural parent. Including several dozen or hundreds of genes encoding signs useful for humans, but harmful to the survival of the plant. And if ever on the transgenic rye field they will grow resistant to glyphosate cornflowers with blue flowers collected in spikelets – it will be only one of the many weeds, and not a catastrophe for agriculture. Another contiguous problem is the effect of GMO on a variety of wild relatives of cultivated plants. A man of thousands of years grown cultivated plants, during this time the hybrids of wild and cultivated plants sprout many times – and so much times faded, without giving offspring. Sometimes they turned out to be useful for a person and gave rise to new varieties of cultivated plants, but in nature such hybrids are unlikely to survive.

Garden flowerness

The possibilities of ordinary breeding are practically exhausted: everything that could be achieved by old methods of increasing yields, has already been achieved. More coldly, heat, saline and other stability, it is impossible to squeeze traditional methods from plants – and therefore you have to use the remains of natural biocenoses under Pashni.

With the help of GMO, a person can not only expand his feed base, but also to start giving debts to nature. Almost a third of the surface of land sushi occupy the desert, including those formed by the fault of our ancestors. Transgenic plants, sustainable soil salinity, dryness and heat, will be able to expand the boundaries of the ranges of not only their species and childbirth, but in general flowering plants. Such plants will start reclamation of semi-deserts and deserts – will form oases, structuring the soil, reduce its erosion, contribute to the detention in it moisture and eventually create conditions for the growth of ordinary plants or other types of GMOs.

But how nevertheless create genetically modified organisms? On technologies for obtaining transgenic microbes, plants and animals, gene guns, viral and bacterial means of delivering genes in chromosomes, codon crossing secrets – in general, how gene engineers work, read in the next article.

Tomatoes with teeth food with a flavor of fear

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