Summative Practice 13 – Question 3 & 4 (Form 5 Biology Textbook Exercise and Answer)

Question 3:
Recently, many genetically modified food (GMF) have been produced and are available in the market. As a representative of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), you proposed that GMF should be labelled as shown in Photograph 1 and with its contents printed. Justify your proposal.

• Labelling is important to enable consumers to make decision on whether to buy the food with the declared contents.

• According to Food Act 1983 and Food Regulation 1985, food and drinks that are produced by modern biotechnology must state their genetic sources on the wrapper label.

• Statement such as “(name of ingredient) is genetically modified” must be displayed clearly on label to inform consumers.

• The community are anxious to know that the consumption of foreign gene in transgenic plant can cause unknown diseases.

• Another issue is whether GMF is halal.

• The materials used to produce GMF may be obtained from non-halal sources such as pig or unknown animal status.

• Genetic sources which are non-halal and deteriorate human health as well as the environment will not be permitted.

Question 4:
The illegal ivory trade is rampant in some African countries. It is estimated that 50,000 African elephants have been killed to get their tusks. The authorities find it difficult to identify the real syndicates who run the illegal trade since most suspects caught were non-syndicate members but individuals who merely transport the ivory. Recently, a group of scientists have been actively producing DNA profiles of elephant tusks confiscated by the authorities. In your opinion, explain why communities have so much interest in elephant tusks and how DNA profiling technique can eradicate the smuggling of elephant tusks.

Reasons on why humans are interested in elephant tusks:

• Elephant tusk is used to make decorative items and sculptures because it is long lasting, easy to sculpture and non-easily broken.

• Elephant tusk is believed to have medicinal value in some Asian countries.

• Possessing it is seen as a status symbol among the rich in China.

DNA profiling technique:

• DNA profiling technique helps to identify the locations where elephants are hunted for their tusks.

• If elephant tusks were smuggled, DNA profiling of the smuggled ivory can be compared with the DNA profiles from known locations. This will enable identification of the original location of the smuggled ivory. Based on the identification of the location, more stringent monitoring will then be enforced in the location to prevent hunting and smuggling of elephant tusks.

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