Genetically Modified Organisms: The European Union vs. The United States

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Genetically Modified Organisms: The European Union vs. The United States

"By increasing the fertility of the land, it increases its abundance. The improvements of agriculture too introduce many sorts of vegetable foods, which, requiring less land and not more labor than corn, come cheaply to the market."

-Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Book I.XI.n

The United States and the European Union are currently in dispute over the trade of genetically modified organisms. These altered plants produce more fruit per acre than traditional methods of farming while protecting the species from insects, environmental changes, and mutations. The output coupled with the benefits of environmental
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Biotechnology in agriculture is a collection of scientific techniques used to improve or modify plants and microorganisms. Simplistic examples of biotechnology are employing yeast, molds, and bacteria to create fermented foods such as milk and cheese, or crossbreeding plants in hope of improving agriculture. The benefits of biotechnology in agriculture increased over the past few decades after scientists discovered that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is interchangeable among plants, animals and other organisms, alike. This allows scientists to invent new products through both crossbreeding and a transfer of genes. Nearly any desirable trait found in nature can be transferred to a select organism. This process of transferring DNA from one to another is referred to as genetic engineering (The United States Mission to the European Union:1999).

The genetic code is universal. Related species share a large number of genes, and on that assessment, GMOs were created. By incorporating genes from an alternate plant species, an animal, bacterium, or virus, scientists can generate a new variety of organism. The most common varieties produced are corn and soybeans resistant to pests and herbicides (Monsanto:1999).

Genetically engineered, or transgenic crops, are being grown and tested throughout the world. GMO technology grants the ability to add, subtract, alter or exchange an

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