Genetic Engineering And Food Safety
Moreover, supporters believe that because genetic engineering techniques have become simplified in recent years, the methods can be applied to the large-scale production of food and drugs badly needed by the rapidly growing world population. On the contrary, these critics believe that genetic engineering Of foods touches on several issues involving the right Of consumers to know what is in the food they buy, the right of individual countries to set up standards as they deem fit, the relationship between multinational companies, scientists, farmers, government regulators and so on.
So as far as am concerned, we ought to be especially cautious with the genetically modified foods considering both their merits and demerits before we make decisions whether to buy them for a person and or whether to import them for a country. The advantages of genetic engineering exist in many aspects in our lives. Thanks to genetic engineering, more grains have been created to feed the huge population. It can also lead to crops which have lots of excellent characteristics through changing some parts of the DNA of the crops.
For instance, some crops can shorten their growing periods. Others can resist many adverse conditions such as coldness, diseases, pests, bad weather etc. It is reported that growing genetically modified foods such as B. T. Corn can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market. Monsanto has created a strain of soybeans genetically modified to be not affected by their herbicide product Roundup.
A farmer grows these soybeans which then only require one application of weed-killer instead of multiple applications, reducing production cost and limiting the dangers of agricultural waste run-off. Still others are also very different from the normal ones because they can taste better, be more convenient and more nutritious and be stored longer. In addition, supporters believe that genetically modified foods can potentially solve critical problems of world agriculture, health and ecology.
In that case, the genetic engineering indeed has a great number of excellent advantages. On the contrary, opposition to the genetically modified foods in many countries even in the USA where the genetic engineering has been widely adopted in many fields such as agriculture and medicine, is on the rise cause they have concerned many potential dangers Of them. To begin with, people are concerned that genetic engineering can alter the nutrients in foods.
Foreign genes might alter nutritional value of foods in unpredictable ways by decreasing levels of some nutrients while increasing levels of others. The changes in food and diet through biotechnology occur at a pace far greater than the scientists’ ability to predict the significance of the changes on pediatric nutrition. Critics therefore suggest that it should be cautious when sing genetically modified food products in infant foods. In addition, they even may be potentially poisonous.
Genetic modification maybe activates the genes in the food which control the production of poison. For example, a recent article published in Lancet examined the effects of GM potatoes on the digestive tract in rats. This study claimed that there were appreciable differences in the intestines of rats fed GM potatoes and rats fed unmodified potatoes. Yet critics say that this paper, like the monarch butterfly data, is flawed and does not hold up to scientific scrutiny.