Mark Tompkins Canaccord: The Use of Biotechnology for Food Production

You may think of biotechnology as a new scientific benefit, but as a matter of fact, it is thousands of years old. Nowadays there are myriad of possible benefits that can be provided by biotechnology because recently we discovered enough to start identifying and working with the genes that are responsible for traits. Traits are passed down over from one generation to the next one through genes made of DNA. Every living thing, no matter whether it is a fruit, vegetable or meat, contains functioning genes. Only recently, scientists learned enough to identify and work with genes responsible for traits. By learning how to move genes from one organism to another, scientists have in fact discovered genetic modification (GM), genetic engineering (GE) and genetic improvement (GI). Dedicated to the field of biological sciences, Mark Tompkins Canaccord has expressed particular interest in biotechnology and its impact.

Based on single-gene traits, scientists were able to produce the first transgenic crops from which the “Flavr-Savr” tomato is probably best known, even though it was not a commercial success. Following this, there were able to produce other early transgenic products based on traits influencing agronomic performance such as insect, pathogen and herbicide resistance. American farmers started broadly using this approach in the coming decade for different purposes in the Agro-Food sector. As a graduate of biological sciences, Mark Tompkins Canaccord took great interest in this relatively new, yet developing approach, and even completed a series of courses, including his project work in agricultural biotechnology.

Biological sciences and its application in agriculture have become increasingly prominent in the past few years. In early 1990, the first biotechnology created food product appeared on the market. It was an enzyme used in cheese production, and a yeast used for baking which opened to farmers everywhere, an entirely new world of opportunities.  Five years later they were growing GE crops on a large scale, and as Mark Tompkins Canaccord records’ state, by 2003, around 7 million farmers in 18 countries were planting biotech crops. Over 85 percent of those farmers supplied to the poor ones in the third world or developing countries.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: