Should I be afraid of transgenes? Part 1.

  Should I be afraid of transgenes? Part 1. Transgenic psychology 1,111,117.

Funny thing about human psychology. People often believe no direct claim, as some rumors, the opinion of the crowd, the voice of the people. So it was with the Cassandra things that stoned for what she predicted the death of Troy, as often happens in our days. So people rushed to buy sugar, despite all the assurances by the Government that this is OK, then vlyapyvaetsya in all sorts of dubious Trusts, hoping to enrich themselves fabulously. Even the most inveterate pessimists are hoping for better, for some miracle.

This is the case with many notorious biologically active food additives. In the stress people are told that "Herbalife - not medicine, but people still buy - suddenly help. From genetically modified food as the effect works the other way around: Scientists say that such products can not hurt, but people are secretly thinking: "suddenly hurt.

Competent people are saying that no transgenic food waiting for us world hunger, the other, no less competent, but in the other, shouting that we are releasing the genie from the bottle. And in most cases it is useless to appeal to reason and persuade at a level of common sense that transgenic products are harmless to health, and even more useful than usual - there were talking in the categories of belief or disbelief.

 [b] The scale of genetic experiments

But we have long been eating transgenic vegetables. But not always know about it. Abroad, genetically modified vegetables and industrial crops occupy dozens if not hundreds of millions of hectares. They offer higher yields, resist pests and diseases. Thus, the harvest of genetically modified potatoes, for example, reaches 400 tons per hectare, four times the yield of conventional Russian potato.

The main advantage of the transgenic potatoes is that it does not eat Colorado potato beetle. When you get acquainted with what damage it causes to our potatoes, involuntarily comes to mind well-known expression: We eat leftovers from the table insects.

So, after tasting the leaves of potato, in the DNA molecule is grafted genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, Colorado potato beetle has nothing else has gone. Integrated gene produces a protein deadly poison to insects, but absolutely neutral with respect to warm-blooded animals, including humans. Security of it carefully and repeatedly verified.

But that's not all. Of genetic engineering have allowed to develop varieties of potato, from which the technologically simpler and cheaper to make chips, and potatoes with improved composition of fatty acids and high vitamin content.

But the potatoes - this is only the beginning. Promising experiments have been over the closest relatives of potatoes - tomatoes. In their genetic structure and build in the genes responsible for the production of toxic substances, of course, selective effect on insects and harmless to humans. One of the genes introduced into the DNA of tomato, attaches to the taste and smell plucked from the beds, despite the relatively long shelf life.

Similarly, in the DNA of corn and rice are integrating genes that protect them from pests. As a result, no need to pollinate crops pesticides, that is, ultimately, the food of such genetically modified plants is environmentally cleaner than usual.

Scientists are experimenting not only with food but with the huge number of industrial crops. Already received cotton, inedible for insects, on the order of hemp, not giving the drug.

  Experiments in Russia

Large-scale work to develop new vegetable varieties using genetic engineering achievements started in Russia.

This is not just to satisfy the curiosity of scientists. This is vital. For up to 40% of the crop of potatoes each year die from fungal diseases of tubers and the Colorado potato beetle. Losses are expressed in tens of billions of rubles even as dollars.

And so, in the three most common varieties of potatoes, occupying up to 50% of landing area in the country - "Lugovskoj", "Nevsky" and "Elizabeth" - introduced a gene that kills the Colorado potato beetle. They landed in the pilot, still "closed" research field, next to planting conventional tubers are not exposed to the gene interference. Scientists will carefully study the implications of experiments, preventing the uncontrolled spread of modified potato. Not forgotten, and sugar beet, 30% of which are killed on our fields, making it uneconomical production of domestic sugar.