Genetically modified foods pros and cons? Living things that have had their genetic material changed in some way are referred to as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs for short.
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GMOs are known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs can take the form of animals or bacteria, but more often than not, they are crops like corn or potatoes that have been modified in a laboratory to boost the quantity or quality of the food they produce.
GMO crops have numerous benefits, but some people are concerned that they may have adverse impacts on people’s health. This is a concern that a few different groups have expressed.
What follows is information that will help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not you should steer clear of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You can easily differentiate between genetics and biology.
There are currently a number of genetically modified crops being utilized in the food supply. There are currently no genetically modified animals that are permitted for consumption by the FDA; however, the approval of a genetically modified salmon has been requested.
There are certain situations in which the product is consumed directly as food; nevertheless, the vast majority of the time, crops that have been genetically modified are sold on the market as commodities before being further processed into food ingredients.
Pros of Genetically Modified Food
According to Megan L. Norris, Ph.D., a biomedical researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, “GMOs are engineered to be extra” in a number of ways, including “extra healthy,” “extra fast-growing,” and “extra resistant to weather or pests.”
The ability of scientists to select the most desirable characteristics to add to GMO crops is one of the many reasons why genetically modified foods have several benefits, including the following:
There may be less need for insecticides in GMO crops
Many GM crops have been modified to make them less susceptible to attack by insects and other kinds of pests. For instance, Bt-corn is a genetically modified organism (GMO) crop that has had a gene from the naturally occurring soil bacteria Bacillus inserted into it. This gene triggers the production of a protein in the maize that is toxic to a wide variety of insects and other organisms that could cause damage to the corn.
This means that farmers don’t need to use as much pesticide on crops like Bt-corn — a study published in 2020 revealed that farmers who grew GMO crops reduced their use of pesticides by 775.4 million kg (8.3%) between the years 1996 and 2018; this reduction occurred between 1996 and 2018.
It is possible that reducing the number of pesticides used in agricultural production will result in fewer health concerns for individuals who consume the crops as well as less damage to the environment.
GMOs are typically sold at a Lower Price
GMO crops are developed to grow efficiently, which means that farmers can produce the same quantity of food using less land, less water, and fewer pesticides than conventional crops. This is because GMO crops are more resistant to herbicides and insecticides.
Because they are able to reduce their usage of resources, food manufacturers are able to sell GMO foods at more affordable costs. There is a possibility that prices for foods such as corn, beets, and soybeans could be reduced by 15% to 30% under certain circumstances.
It’s possible that GMOs have greater Nutrients
Some genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been engineered to include increased amounts of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. For instance, scientists have been successful in creating a modified variety of African corn that has the following ingredients:
- When compared to conventional plant foods, it contains two times as much folate.
- When compared to conventional crops, these have six times the amount of vitamin C.
- 169 times more beta-carotene than typical crops.
This may be of particular use in areas where a large percentage of the population suffers from nutritional inadequacies.
Cons of Genetically Modified Food
GMO crops may offer several benefits, like cost savings and improved nutrition, but some scientists are concerned that they may also pose health dangers.
Allergic responses could be triggered by GMOs
People who aren’t ordinarily allergic to a meal can develop an allergy to it if it contains DNA from another organism. This is conceivable because genetically modified organisms (GMOs) include DNA from other organisms.
In one instance, a genetically modified soybean crop that was developed using DNA from a Brazil nut was found to be harmful to individuals who are allergic to nuts and so could not be distributed to the general population.
On the other hand, GMO foods are subjected to rigorous allergy testing, which suggests that they should not necessarily be riskier than conventional crops.
There is a possibility that GMOs will enhance Antibiotic Resistance
When scientists working with genetically modified organisms introduce new DNA into plant cells, they frequently include an additional gene at the same time. This confers antibiotic resistance to the transformed cells. After that, they can use an antibiotic to eliminate any plant cells that were unable to successfully incorporate the new DNA into their genome.
However, researchers are discovering that these antibiotic-resistant genes don’t always disappear once you digest GMO foods. But rather, they can actually be passed through your feces into sewage systems. This is a concerning development.
There is concern among some specialists that these genes could be taken up by pathogenic bacteria present in sewers or in your stomach. These bacteria are known to cause serious illnesses such as staph infections.
Because of this, the conventional antibiotic therapies will be completely ineffective against the newly discovered super bacterium. However, not all specialists share the same concern; some researchers contend that this kind of gene transfer is extremely unusual and that there is very little danger to human beings as a result.
GMOs may contribute to Antibiotic Resistance
Genes that are resistant to antibiotics are typically included in GMOs in order to ensure the health and viability of the plants they produce. It has been hypothesized, but there is no evidence to support it, that the technique may be one of the factors leading to the evolution of germs that are resistant to antibiotics.
There is some evidence to suggest that GMOs cause Cancer
The findings of a study first presented to the public in 2013 demonstrated that herbicides present in Round-up resistant crops were responsible for the development of Cancer in rats.
Although the original publication that published the article retracted it later because it contained either untrue or deliberately misleading information, other journals have continued to publish it since the original withdrawal.
As a result, a significant number of people have concluded that eating genetically modified corn could be detrimental to their health.
Only a handful of corporations control the entire market for genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds
A significant portion of the unfavorable sentiment that surrounds genetically modified organisms (GMOs) frequently refers to Monsanto. Along with Monsanto, there are five additional companies that control the global market for genetically modified organisms (GMO) seeds. Companies such as DuPont, Syngenta, Agro sciences, Dow, BASF, and Bayer are included in this list.
This suggests that a significant quantity of maize and soybeans are providing advantages to both the companies and the farmers. Copyrights are required for specific seeds in order to protect such earnings, and these requirements have led to some legal challenges for farmers who have GMO seeds to cross-pollinate their crops even though they do not grow GMOs themselves.
At this time, sixty-four different types of weeds have been established as having resistance to the herbicide atrazine. This is despite the fact that none of the weeds have been hybridized with GMO crops in order to produce a resistance of this kind.
GMOs are foods that have been transformed using genetic technology. Most goods at your local grocery contain GMO components since they’re easier and more cost-effective for farmers, which makes them cheaper for the customer.
Corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa, cotton, potatoes, papaya, summer squash, and a few varieties of apples are among the crops planted in the United States with genetic modification.
GMO foods have been deemed safe for human consumption at this time, but some individuals are still wary because of unknown risks. Due to a lack of long-term human trials, more study is needed.
The labeling of foods that have been genetically modified is not currently required in the United States. However, beginning in 2022, the term “bioengineered food” or a scan-able code indicating that the product contains GMO ingredients will be required to appear on the packaging of any food containing GMO components.
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