Have you ever seen a six-legged watermelon with big eyes and a bird-like monster that looks like a bird?
This morning, when such two photographs appeared on the big screen of the 2010 China Association for Science and Technology Academic Conference, a horrible cry came from the scene.
In fact, such pictures have been circulated on the Internet recently. Is the genetically modified angel or devil? Is genetically modified food safe? More and more people are full of doubts and are worried.
â€œActually, this is the horror of rendering genetically modified.â€ Lin Minru, chief lecturer of the report of the China Association of Science and Technology, and director of the Institute of Biotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, explained.
The ancient genetic modification
What is genetically modified? The professional definition is: the use of DNA recombination technology, the transfer of foreign genes to the recipient's biological clock, so that it produces targeted, stable genetic changes, which is to make new receptors get new traits.
Such a professional definition may make the general public feel like a cloud cover.
But in fact, genetic transformation has existed in ancient times, and nature can be seen everywhere.
Lin Min exemplifies that the growth of a tree was caused by the genetic modification of Agrobacterium. The working people used this genetic modification at an early stage.
Taking the origin of corn as an example, corn originated in Mexico. Through generation-by-generation crossbreeding, it produces high-yield, high-quality varieties. â€œIt can be said that (a lot of things) are not the result of natural selection, but the product of gene transfer. "Lin Min said.
A classic story is that in the 1990s, cotton bollworms appeared, and the entire cotton industry was faced with extreme destruction. Conventional breeding methods are powerless. Transgenic technology was born at this time: Scientists have built vectors of bacterial insecticidal protein genes that have been transferred to an insect-resistant cotton by pollen tube introduction. In this way, humans have obtained insect-resistant cotton that cannot be obtained by conventional methods.
The genetically modified industry is already unstoppable
There are two words in GM technology that are particularly expressive: First, the fastest-growing technology ever developed by human beings. Its annual area growth is basically 10%. Second, the GM industry is rapidly developing in the debate.
According to statistics, by 2009, the global acreage of genetically modified crops has reached 130 million hectares, and planted area in 25 countries is 79 times that of 1996. Global genetically modified crops contain 3/4 of soybean, half of cotton, 1/4 of corn, and 1/5 of the area of â€‹â€‹rapeseed are genetically modified.
Lin Min believes that from these figures it can be concluded that "transgenic technology is the trend of the times and the transgenic industry has become overwhelming."
The fight against cottonworms in China and the United States is impressive.
In 1999, due to the rampant infection of cotton worms, the entire cotton industry was facing a great deal of hardship. The insect-resistant cotton in the United States was immersed in the country. There were four domestic disputes over the development of China's own domestic insect-resistant cotton. Finally, our government and scientists decided to develop transgenic insect-resistant cotton.
It is precisely because of the strengthening of research in this area. Now, China's insect-resistant cotton has entered the international market and participated in international competition.
There is also a foreign example.
The United States, Brazil, Argentina, and China are the four major soybean producers. The United States, Brazil, and Argentina have widely used genetically modified, herbicide-resistant soybeans. Today, they have become major exporters, and China is a pure importer. â€œThis explains technology. The advantages will win the market. This is the inspiration for us from soybeans."