Threat of Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified foods (GM foods) are threatening us in the news nowadays. Environmental activists, public interest groups, Ecologists and Scientists have been vigorously griping against GM foods for years. The term GM food is most commonly used to refer to crops created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques.
They have been developed in the laboratory with a desired quality like enhanced nutrient, improved resistance to microbes, pests and diseases or addition of a quality that a crop doesn’t possess or removing a particular protein that may be allergic there by alleviating its allergic properties.
Advantages of Genetically Modified Foods
- Improve nutrient Content: Rice is a meager source of vitamin A. Hence golden rice has been invented to combat vitamin A deficiency that produces night blindness, Xeropthalmia. Golden Rice could probably supply 50% of the RDA of vitamin A from a very meek amount, if taken daily. This amount is well within the consumption habits of most young children and their mothers.
- Toxicity or allergic reactions: Many people suffer from allergies to various food items including nuts, wheat, eggs, pulses, certain fruits, vegetables or milk products due to the presence of certain proteins. Thus GM foods are prepared keeping in mind to end these allergies.
- Crops are more productive and have a better produce.
- They require less herbicides and pesticides as they possess greater immunity to pests and diseases.
- They stay ripe and unblemished for longer duration so they can be stored for longer periods causing much debate over the safety of these products.
- They are capable of growing in regions with poor soil or difficult climates, making them available to us round the year.
Disadvantages of Genetically Modified FoodsWhy should we change nature to meet up our desires?
Environmental activists, Ecologists, Scientists argue that we are breaking our nature’s eco cycle. GM foods can disturb the natural flow of our environment and the consequence will be reflected to our future generations which may have negative impact on their health.
The GM foods are all about making profit – generate a product that grows efficiently, yields a lot, stores well, available in all seasons, allure the public, making huge profits to the producers.
There is likelihood of humans developing new allergic reactions to the foods they eat.
So what can we do...Eat foods that are labeled, like in US strong food laws exist and foods have been labeled as
These are safe to eat, as their genetic codes are not much altered.
Despite a lot of disagreement surrounding them, genetically modified foods have taken root in our world. As with any new technology, we citizens have the right to become informed about genetically modified foods, in order to make informed choices about their use.
But ……. Be organic…..
Image Credit: Flickr/ Jeff Kubina