What are the advantages and disadvantages of transgenic plants?


Quick Answer

Transgenic plants provide economic advantages by providing a cheap and abundant source of food but may create resistance to antibiotics and have other health consequences. Transgenic plants are commonly called genetically modified organisms or GMOs. They include crops and herbs that are grown and produced for human and animal consumption around the world on farms and in laboratories.

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Full Answer

Genetically modified plants, along with fish, poultry and other organisms with altered genes, have their share of benefits and drawbacks. Transgenic plants, in many locations, offer a readily available, cheap and abundant source of food, which gives them an economic advantage. These plants can also be modified to adapt to different climates and growing conditions, which makes them especially popular among farmers with medium- to large-size farms, as those plants make their crop supplies more predictable. According to WebMD, genetically modified crops may be supplemented with improved nutritional content, and they may receive alterations in color and texture to look more appealing. However, transgenic plants are not problem free. They may introduce new allergens and toxins to traditional foods and cause antibiotic resistance by introducing new strains of bacteria and viruses into the food chain. Finally, transgenic plants may enable the growth of super weeds and pose other environmental risks.

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