Definition • Biotechnology refers to the use of microorganisms such as bacteria or biological substances such as enzymes, to perform industrial or manufacturing processes. • (http://www.mariosalexandrou.com/definition/biotechnology.asp)
The Role of BioTech in Ag • USDA plays a key role in assuring that products produced using biotechnology are safe to be grown and used in the United States. • (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal?navid=BIOTECH)
How is Agricultural Biotechnology being used? • Biotechnology provides farmers with tools that can make production cheaper and more manageable. • biotechnology crops can be engineered to tolerate specific herbicides, which makes weed control simpler and more efficient. • (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&navid=AGRICULTURE&contentid=BiotechnologyFAQs.xml) • (Roundup Ready Crops)
Decrease the use of synthetic pesticides • (Bt Corn) • Which is better? Pesiticides or GMO’s?
Third World Countries • Help countries keep pace with demands for food while reducing production costs
Developers are using biotechnology: • Reduce saturated fats in cooking oils • Reduce allergens in foods • Increase disease-fighting nutrients in foods • Researching ways to use genetically engineered crops in the production of new medicines
Other Benefits of BioTechnology in Ag. • Phytoremediation: The plants detoxify pollutants in the soil or absorb and accumulate polluting substances out of the soil- (substances are then properly disposed) • Conserve natural resources • Enable animals to more effectively use nutrients present in feed • Decrease nutrient runoff into rivers and bays
Examples • Biotech crops may provide enhanced quality traits such as increased levels of beta-carotene in rice to aid in reducing vitamin A deficiencies • The papaya ringspot virus threatened to derail the Hawaiian papaya industry until papayas resistant to the disease were developed through genetic engineering. This saved the U.S. papaya industry.
Listeria and Campylobacter • The tools of biotechnology have "unlocked doors" and are also helping in the development of improved animal and plant varieties. • (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&navid=AGRICULTURE&contentid=BiotechnologyFAQs.xml)