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Genetically Modified Food Facts

How helpful are genetically modified foods?
(August 5, 2011)

Genetically modified food is when the basic gene or DNA of the food is changed to create bigger of the same type. Genetically modifying seeds, for instance, will yield more in the same crop or create bigger fruits and vegetables. Opinions across the globe seem to be divided on whether all food should be converted to genetically modified food or not. With an ever increasing size of human population on the globe, this is often touted as the solution to world hunger. But genetically modifying food has not been particularly helpful.


Farmers have also suffered a lot as crops from genetically modified food do seem to succumb to pests more. The food seems to lack taste and flavor. The research in genetically modified food is always ongoing and in the next few years there could be many more breakthroughs that make it a favorable solution to providing cheap and nutritious food to the world’s hungry.
Submitted by N on August 5, 2011 at 12:19

 

How genetically modified foods affect our health?


One of the main gm food side effects is increased allergies. Genetically modified organisms which are used in genetically engineered foods can cause unknown and unforeseen food allergies. Toxicity of certain foods can also increase due to the unexpected mutations of an organism. This kind of toxicity can even have fatal side effects in human beings.

Another one of the gm food negative effects is reduced nutritional value. The counterfeit freshness of genetically engineered foods is misleading to consumers. Due to genetic engineering fruits and vegetables which are stale may also look fresh and appealing to people while their actual nutritional value is extremely low. There is also very little information about the long term gm food harmful effects which makes it difficult to ascertain the long term health risks associated with such foods.

The negative effects of genetically modified foods are irreversible making them a potential health hazard in the long run. Allergic reactions can get magnified because of gm foods which can result in anaphylactic shock and ultimately even death. The risk of degenerative diseases and various types of cancers also increases with the consumption of gm foods. Bacterial and viral infections can also increase because of the gene transfer that takes place in gm foods.
Submitted by N on July 23, 2011 at 12:00

 

How genetically modified food works?


Genetic modification in plants is a subject of great debate across the world. There are those that are fiercely in favor of such plants while others who oppose it with similar ferocity. Genetic modification involves the use of seed that is modified to remove some unwanted characteristics of the plant while adding some desirable characteristics. On paper, this is very encouraging. However, in practice, there is far more that goes into the process of genetic modification which is why there is so much controversy associated with it.

When growing gm food, it is important to understand what risks one is taking. Studies have shown that gm crops may damage the land and reduce subsequent yields. Studies have also shown that the nutritional value of gm food may not be as good or as far reaching as that of regular crops. In some cases, gm food is grown exclusively; there is no major cultivation of the original plant. This is very common for plants that used to be fragile in certain weather conditions, for example. However, one must read all the available literature for growing gm foods before committing one’s land to these crops. The long term benefits of many gm varieties are yet to be established.
Submitted by N on July 17, 2011 at 11:59

 

Does genetically modified food cause cancer?


With the advancement of science over the years, a large number of discoveries have been made that help us lead our lives with more comfort and convenience. However, very often, certain discoveries will appear to be very good and effective despite the fact that they may have a very serious impact on our lives at a masked level. We only discover the impact that these discoveries have made when the full effects of health risks have been developed and it may be too late to do much about it.  Genetically modified foods are one very common example and a number of news sources claim that recent studies have shown that genetically modified food causes cancer and other medical complications.

One of the biggest hints of a ling between genetically modified food and cancer is the fact that some research reports shows that there was a trail of unintended harm to certain organisms with relatively high mortality rates in a certain type of butterflies while there is also an increase in the resistance of certain mosquito’s to pesticides – causing a number of scientists to be a bit worried about the ability of more insects to develop a resistance to commercial pesticides.
Submitted by N on July 12, 2011 at 11:57

 

Can genetically modified food be organic?


To answer the question of are organic foods genetically modified it is first important to understand the difference between organic and genetically modified foods. Genetically modified organisms are used to produce genetically modified foods whereas organic foods are produced without using synthetic chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides and do not even contain genetically modified organisms. Therefore the concept of organic genetically modified food is a big health risk.

As per health standards organic foods cannot and should not contain genetically modified organisms. Even the non-organic ingredients used in organic food are not supposed to contain any genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified foods can increase the risk of various health problems and some of the organic genetically modified food effects can be seen in the form of food allergies, birth defects, shorter life span, low nutrition, degenerative diseases and cancers and viral and bacterial illnesses.

Knowing the ill effects of genetically modified foods is the first step in trying to avoid foods which contain these organisms. The safest way to avoid such foods is to grow your own. Research also helps in making you aware of what products can be genetically modified. It is always safer to buy foods labeled 100% organic or GMO-free.
Submitted by N on July 7, 2011 at 11:55

 

Genetically modified food, otherwise known as GMO (Genetically modified organisms) refers to crops and plants altered for human or animal consumption using molecular biology techniques. The plants are hybrids that are modified in the laboratory to achieve a certain desired trait. When there is a particular aspect of a plant or a fruit that is needed more in quantity or less in numbers, it can be achieved by genetically modifying it in the laboratory. Some examples are crops modified to increase resistance to herbicides or crops modified to increase nutritional value. Traditionally, these changes can be applied through breeding, however the results are known to be not so accurate. With the use of genetic engineering, the DNA of the organisms is altered to inculcate desired trait.
Genetically modified food was first introduced in the early 90’s. Some commonly modified food are Corn, Soybean, Rice, Poatoes, Sugarcane, Tomatoes, and cotton oil-seed.

There are three main issues concerning the dangers of genetically modified foods. They are, Allergenicity, Gene Transfer and out crossing. People and authorities have been worried about if these three effects have been observed post consumption of GM foods.

Allergenicity -   Traditionally developed food is not assessed for allergenicity- the capacity to cause allergies. However, GM foods are tested for Allergenicity by the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO. There have been no allergic effects found in the test.

Gene Transfer – The transfer of genes for the GM food to the human body would cause worry if the transferred genes cause ill effects to human health. This possibility is extremely low and is ruled out.

Outcrossing –  This is a genuine risk as far as GM foods go. Outcrossing refers to the phenomenon when GM food mixes with traditionally developed food. Gene transfer may occur as a result of this, cause complication. Several countries have taken precautions to stop outcrossing from occurring.

Genetically modified goes through a set of rigorous assessment routines. No two kinds of GM foods are the same. The manner in which one is altered is completely different from the other, hence the safety of GM foods can be assessed only on a case–by-case basis. It is very difficult to make general statements and assumptions on all GM foods.

The GM foods available internationally have, of course passed assessments and will not cause harm upon consumption. Since there are high level tests and guidelines that filter the GM food marketed internationally, it does not stand to cause as health risks.
Submitted by C N on June 1, 2010 at 06:51

 

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