GMO FOODS, ARE THEY GOOD OR BAD?
- 3 Months ago
When people talk about GMOs, they’re usually referring to genetically engineered crops. In very basic terms, this involves extracting a gene from one organism in a lab and injecting it into the cells of another organism, imparting the recipient cells with a new, desirable trait.
Most currently available GMO foods are plants, such as fruit and vegetables.
There is various controversy over the benefits and risks of GMO foods. In this article, we discuss the benefits and harmful effects of GMO crops, taking into account their potential effects on human health and the environment.
- More Nutritious
GMO foods are more nutritious and this also helps in flavor enhancement. This plays a significant role in combatting malnutrition in the developing countries. For example, vitamin A-enhanced rice is helping to reduce global vitamin A deficiencies.
- Higher Production
GMO foods are modified to make them resistant to insects and diseases. This can reduce the number of pesticides used on the plants, result in higher yields for farmers and a more attractive product.
- Environmental Protection
The increase of GMO crops requires fewer chemicals, time and tools. This, in turn, may help to reduce, greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, and pollution and contribute to the sustaining of better air and water quality, indirectly benefiting your personal well-being.
All of these factors contribute to lower costs of GMO foods for the consumer and also ensure that more people have access to quality food.
Harmful Effects: GMO Foods is a relatively new practice, little is known about the long-term effects and safety. There a range of drawbacks along with benefits that people often associate with GMO foods.
- Allergic Reactions
GMO foods can present significant allergy risks to people. This is because they may contain genes from an allergen, a food that prompts an allergic reaction.
- Antibacterial resistance
Genetic modification, can boost a crop's resistance to disease or make it more tolerant to herbicides, could affect the ability of people to defend against illness. GMO plants contain genes that make them resistant to certain antibiotics. This resistance could pass on to humans.
- Gene Transfer
The herbicide-resistant genes from commercial crops may cross into the wild weed population, thus creating "super weeds" that are impossible to kill with herbicides. A related risk is that the escape of genetically enhanced animals and vegetation can create new super-organisms that can out-compete natural animal and plant populations to drive certain species into extinction.
Because genetic modification can make plants resistant to disease and tolerant of herbicides, the process can increase the amount of food that farmers are able to grow. This can reduce prices and contribute to food security. There are several health concerns regarding GMO foods, and evidence for them varies. Remember to always consume fresh and natural food products.