Genetically modified food
As we talked about organic food in the previous article, in this one we will talk about genetically modified food. So let’s go in order!
Question: “What is genetically modified food?”
Answer: Genetically modified food is food produced by organisms that have undergone changes within their DNA, using genetic engineering methods. Generically created plants are made in a laboratory by modifying their genetic structure and are tested for the desired quality or some other target property. Most genetically modified plants are aimed at adding genes-cloning or changing genes – genes are removed. The goal is to create plants that are resistant to insects, fungi, herbicides, change the nutrient content, improve the taste or resistance to storage conditions.
Question: “What is genetic engineering?”
Answer: Genetic engineering is a method by which new traits are created in organisms that were not previously possessed by organisms. The history of GE is short. It all started 40 years ago, but it developed very fast. It was experimented for the first time on soy. As more and more functions of different parts of DNA were discovered, the possibilities for gene manipulation became more and more open. Now, far behind us are the first attempts at cloning, genetic therapy and what seemed the least likely until then, and that is the mixing of plant and animal genetic material. The goal of all this was to accelerate the growth of plants, to enable their resistance to pathogens and to increase the amount of certain nutrients in the plant itself. Genetically modified animal husbandry is in experimental development.
Sales of genetically modified food began in 1994, when tomato seeds with delayed ripening were advertised for the first time. Most genetically modified food is focused on profitable crops, from the high demand of farmers such as soybeans, corn, oilseed rape and cottonseed oil.
There is a broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM plants does not pose a greater risk to human health than conventional products. However, many oppose this type of food for several reasons, including the problem of bio-security, environmental and economic issues supported by the fact that GMO seeds and animals that potentially take it as food are usually owned by large corporations. The discussion includes consumers, farmers, biotechnology companies, government regulators, NGOs and scientists. Key areas of controversy are the way these food should be labeled, the role of government regulators, the objectivity of scientific research and publication, the effect of GM on health and the environment, the effect of pesticide resistance, the impact of GM plants on farmers and the role of GM plants in nutrition. world population.
Testing was done on a case-by-case basis, regarding potential toxicity and allergies related to GM foods on the market. Concerns include contamination of the supply of non-genetically processed food, the effects of GMOs on the environment and nature, the rigor of the regulatory process and the consolidation of food stock controls in companies that make and sell GMOs.
Today, there is a GMO control regulation in 64 countries. Approaches are different from country to country. Countries assess differently in managing the risks associated with the use of genetic engineering and the development and release of genetically modified organisms, including plants and fish. There are no major differences between the US and Europe in terms of regulation, but the differences relate to the planned use of genetic engineering products. One of the key issues related to regulation is that GMO food must be labeled as such.
Like every phenomenon, GMO has its advantages and disadvantages.
The idea of using GMO food came from the fact that the number of people on the planet will double in the next 50 years. GMOs should increase crops, which would reduce fears of food shortages. It also destroys pests without the use of chemicals. It destroys weeds, and has a great tolerance for drought and salinity. These plants are resistant to viruses, bacteria and fungi, as well as colds. Genetically modified plants destroy heavy metals from the soil.
Criticism of GMOs comes not from scientists, but from environmental activists, religious groups and citizens’ associations. Their criticisms relate to the bad impact on the environment, people and economic issues. These are the introduction of toxins into plants, the transfer of genes to other species, and the creation of allergies. And while some argue that the use of genetically modified food has no effect on human health, others argue that it does, because relatively little time has passed to see all the consequences of its use. This food is harmful because it causes tumors, allergies, infertility, environmental disorders.
Many laboratories around the world are secretly experimenting on DNA and the creation of new GMO organisms, while GMO research on animals has not yet been published in public, but GMO cereals have long been used in animal feed production. Governments are taking various measures to assess the risks associated with the use of GMO food, including genetic engineering as well as genetically modified animals, plants and fish, but all agree that the GMO product must be labeled, making a decision whether to use it or not. do not leave it to the consumer.