Genetically Modified Crops: Nigeria, Africa must join the rest of the world to ensure food self-sufficiency

by Tayo Fasuan

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Genetically modified crops (GMCs) are food crops whose genes have been altered in some ways in order to improve them. Alternatively called genetically modified foods (GMFs), these food plants have been tinkered with in ways which improve their yields, make them resistant to droughts, pests and diseases, increase their nutritive value and survive on soils and climate that would have once been impossible.

The ability of scientists to modify the genes of living systems is not only one of the most incredible things to have happened in science, but also one of the most important, as humans now have the ability to tweak any living system the way they want. Of course, this has led to continuous debates about the morality of these practices, and modifying animal genes, especially humans, has been greatly regulated because of that.

Most genetically modified organisms (GMOs), either plants or animals, are created by using what are called transgenes, which are genes removed from a specific species of living thing to a completely different species of living thing. For instance, genes which made fishes in the arctic regions of the world survive the extreme cold have been successfully transmitted into some plants to make them survive harshly cold areas. Gene coding for human growth factor has also been successfully transferred into rats to increase their sizes. These experimentations readily came with backlashes, with questions being asked about the morality and longevity of such modifications.

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Genetically Modified Crops: Nigeria, Africa must join the rest of the world to ensure food self-sufficiency

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