Why are so many so opposed to genetic technology coming to our aid? There is lack of hard science to point the way and the truth, and here is one, in the views of Dr Ayub Chege who appreciates that not all GMOs is doom.
We can’t truly avoid genetically modified organisms
Scientifically, all life started from a primordial source from which there has been the growth and speciation to the present day superb populations. The continuity of form is carried inside an organism’s cell’s nucleus that contains chromosomes whose strands hold the genes, the blueprint of inheritance.
More basic life forms like bacteria and some fungi reproduce by any one of the cells budding and/or fission into two repeatedly. Higher life forms however, undergo sexual reproduction process where a female cell (ovum) is fertilised by a male cell (sperm). The ovum and the sperm are formed in specialised reproductive tissues in a meiotic cell division process that halves the number of chromosomes in a cell that splits into two, and the whole number of chromosomes is only reconstituted once the nuclei of the ovum and the sperm fuse again. The resultant cell then undergoes mitotic cell division and cell specialisation to form different tissues and organs that comprise the organism.
Growth and development involve synthesis of tissues and organs, or the protein synthesis that is directed from the genetic material inherited from parent(s). As a consequence, even a cloned animal or a tissue-cultured plant will contain some cells that have a different genetic material sequence from what it received. Therefore, higher plants and animals have an even higher probability of containing genes with even greater variability. This can be best shown in differing environments, as whatever is outwardly phenotypic of an organism is a product of its genetic code and the environmental conditions it lives in.
The Mendelian genetics have shown the variability in cross-pollinated crop properties between parent lines and their seedlings (F1= filia one). The emergence of variegated plants and petals of different colour other than that of parent lines has helped expound on the inheritance of genes, some of which express themselves while others are suppressed. Man has, over time, perfected the qualities of crops with focussed selection and breeding of certain varieties. It is therefore right to say that unless one eats teosinte, any other form of corn/maize eaten is a genetically modified variety; and there have been so many varieties and lines bred for protein quality/content, stress tolerance, weed resistance, maturation time, disease resistance, frost resistance, lodging resistance, etc. Tomatoes, too, have been bred either for salads or for cooking, apples for frost-resistance or sugar content, while tangerine is a cross between orange and lemon. More recently, a non-tear inducing onion variety has been “developed.”