The changing world dynamics has impacted on everything comprising of the feeding patterns and sources of food to feed not only the human population, but equally other animals. However, humans come at the first line whenever consumption practices come into play. While initially humans consumed food products produced by natural agricultural practices, that process is no longer considered efficient (Hoogenkamp 79).
The increasing number of human population and the resulting need of feeding such population have led scientists to focus of other efficient means of producing products for consumption. As a result, scientists have introduced genetically engineered food products that no longer resemble the animal and plant sources of these products since they manufacture the products in the lab.
The genetically modified products has led to various discussions with proponents of the products focusing on the beneficial factors that are unattainable by using traditional agricultural practices, with opponents raising ethical and environmental concerns. The paper examines genetically modified food products and takes a position regarding the products.
Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) relates to a broad category of animals, plants as well as bacterial engineered using a variety applications that stem from agricultural production to laboratory production. The decision towards seeking for GMO’s as an alternative source of consumption especially with the continuously increasing global population that leads to hunger especially within the third world countries.
Studies regarding deaths associated hunger within the global context attribute that a child dies after every two seconds within the developing economies as a result of starvation (GMO...
– Benefits). The estimates does not take into consideration the number of malnourished and undernourished individuals thus signifying the eminent threat the humans within the globe faces due to inadequate food production. However, the use of technology in producing food products in the form of GMO’s presents a great hope that will not only benefit the farmers, but equally all societies across the globe.
All the approved genetically modified products are recognized by government agents responsible for assessing the safety of food products as safe in the same manner like their traditional counterparts that are non-regulated. As such, it is indicative that genetically modified organisms are not only produced without control, but rather are subjected to strict control and observations guided by regulatory frameworks.
These regulatory frameworks help in guarding against possible harmful effects that the products may present to humans and the overall environment. Maintenance of the natural environment is also an important aspect that regulators observe so as to avoid the GMO products to impact on the natural processes. GMO’s presents both food production and environmental benefits to the entire population in a variety of ways (Hoogenkamp 83). Firstly, it enhances in creating plants that possess high resistance to weeds, pest as well as other diseases.
A notable example of such product is the corn produced by genetically modified process. Since corn serves as the most as well as widely used grain in most countries, its production will benefit from the use of new technology because it is vulnerable to a variety of pests and diseases. Secondly, GMO’s leads to production of bigger yields while equally enhancing in creating more efficient lan
uses where less pesticides and herbicides are used. Using pesticides and herbicides leads to adverse environmental impacts that comprises of deaths of beneficial microorganisms among others.
Again, GMO technology leads to production of food products with better flavor, texture as well as nutritional value. Next, genetically engineered products take short time to mature while compared to traditional organisms. For example, the salmon fish produced using genetically modified mechanisms takes half the time taken by natural salmon fish to mature (Pollack). Consequently, the genetically engineered salmon is almost twice the size of the natural salmon thus signifying the benefits of using technology in altering the genes of animals towards addressing the increasing demand of food production.
Irrespective of the significant benefits associated with GMO’s , there are a variety of potential hazards raised by environmentalists and other groups that oppose production and use of GMO’s raise some potential health and environmental effects. Food allergy serve as one of the health issues associated with GMO’S. Current statistics regarding food allergies portray that almost five percent and two percent children and adults respectively within the U.S suffer from food allergy.
Allergic reactions among individuals occur in instances where a normally harmless protein enters in the body and leads to stimulation of an immune response. There are arguments that GMO’s food products may possess a novel protein may come from a product that cause allergies in people or from a source that humans have never consumed and thus lead to increased danger of causing allergies (GMO: Harmful Effects). Irrespective of the fact that there lacks reports of allergic reactions reported by consumers of GMO’s, consumer groups consider the possibility of such cases a sign of increased warning against the use of GMO’s.
Increase in toxicity serves as the next primary issue associated with GMO’s based on the fact that most plants produce toxic substances. An increasing concern emanates from the notion that insertion off an exotic gene in various plants may trigger production of toxins at a higher level that may lead to adverse effects to humans. Such a process may result where the genes inserted in a plant leads to damage of other genes and impact on toxins production.
The issue of decreased nutritional value is also raised by opponents of GMO’s where they attribute the products to possess the capability of having lower nutritional quality while compared to their traditional counterparts (GMO: Harmful Effects). These impacts emanates from the notion that an inserted gene has the capability of influencing the plant to produce specific compounds at a higher level and thus limiting production of others.
Again, while GMO’s possess an advantage in that they are resistance to pests and diseases, there is a related health concern regarding consumption of the products where health professionals attribute them as causal factors of antibiotic resistance. Most recent studies signify that an increasing number of bacterial strains continue to show resistance to antibiotics where genes undergo natural mutation.
While biotechnologists make use of antibiotic resistance genes as form of selectable markers while inserting new genes in specific plants, there lacks adequate support that the plant will incorporate the new gene into the genome.
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