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What is genetic engineering?
It is when Scientists change the way a living thing has been made by changing a ‘gene?inside it. All living things have heaps of genes.
Does this change the way things look?
Yes. It can change the way plants and animals look and behave.
What sort of things do Scientists genetically engineer?
Mainly crops like:
Why do people try to change the way living things are?
To make crops that are able to put up with weather that is very cold or very hot
To make crops that can grow in salty soil
To make crops that can grow with less herbicides and pesticides
Due to all these reasons, more crops can be grown, and more people who do not have food can be fed.
Animals that have been changed can be used to help very sick humans who need changes.
Can these changes cause harm as well?
It is still not clear if these changes will last or cause a lot of harm in a few years.
Changes that we do not want can happen.
‘Super weeds? which are the cross between crops that have been changed and the others which are just their neighbours, have to be killed with strong herbicides. This causes a lot of pollution
Changed crops can harm the untouched ones.
Pollen can be carried from the changed crops to the unchanged ones, by wind or insects. This can cause the crops that have not been changed to get used to bacteria.
What can you do to help?
Ask your parents to buy food that is safe for you to eat.
Change can be good, but not if it causes harm to anyone or the environment!