What do you think of GM food?
What is GMO or GM food?
Genetically modified foods (GMOs or GM fo short) are foods that have had their DNA changed through genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating an organism’s genes directly — by transplanting DNA from other organisms. Genetic engineering allows genetic material to be transferred between any organisms, including between plants and animals. For example, the gene from a fish that lives in very cold seas has been inserted into a strawberry, allowing the fruit to be frost-tolerant.
Many people believe that GMO foods are perfectly safe to eat and can be grown in greater yields than non-modified crops. There are also many that believe GMOs are unsafe to eat and could be contributing to an increase in common health issues. The pros and cons of GMOs are quite complex.
What are the pros and cons of genetically modified food?
Scientists, bioengineers, and many in the food industry support genetic modification because it improves the yield of crops and offers global sustainability:
- Crops are more resistant to diseases, droughts, weeds, and pesticides.
- Larger yields allow farmers to maximize land space and use fewer herbicides.
- GMOs improve the quality of the food that is grown: flavor, texture, and nutritional value.
- GMOs can be shipped to remote areas of the planet.
- Increased shelf life
- Growth in infertile soil, diminishing starvation in developing countries
- Herbicide use on GMO crops is lower than other crops.
The claims against consuming genetically modified foods are twofold: fears for health and concerns about biodiversity:
- They may contribute to an increase in food-related allergies.
- Genetic engineering can trigger allergies from alternative foods.
- GMOs may contribute to antibiotic resistance.
- Higher levels of toxins could be produced with the insertion of a foreign plant gene
- Plant resistance to bacteria builds up a human resistance to antibodies
- Decreased nutrition
- Not enough research is done on health effects
- Modified strains with more flavor but less nutrition are replacing original strains
- Modified strains can grow in the wild and build super resistant weeds