Genetically Modified Foods
A Disaster Waiting To Happen

The introduction of Genetically Modified Foods has raised much concern amongst the public at large, over the long term implications for our health and the wildlife on which we depend. It is difficult to come up with another concept that has triggered as much controversy or interest as that of GM foods.

Is it appropriate or ethical to allow patents on plants, animals and humans? Just because man is able to alter the genetic blueprint of plants and animals doesn't mean it is acceptable. Lots of people believe it to be a positive step while other folks see it as tampering with mother nature, and one step too far.

Do we really want to consume food that has been genetically modified? And is it really such a big deal?

Scientists now have the ability to manipulate genes in a manner that doesn't occur in nature, allowing them to create new plants and animals.

A recent study determined that the average person is overwhelmingly against the use of GM technology, with feelings ranging from out and out mistrust and skepticism, to hostility and rejection, with many more who are extremely concerned about the long term effect it may have on future generations.

Pro GM food advocates will say that fear and anxiety in society over the introduction of genetically modified food is easy to understand. Included amongst them is consumer unfamiliarity with a insufficient information on the existing safeguards in place; a steady flow of unfavorable thoughts and opinions in the media; opposition by activist organizations; increasing mistrust of industry; and a general lack of knowledge of how our food is produced.

The United Kingdoms premier scientific body, the Royal Society has pointed out the total lack of evidence that genetically modified crops cause any harm to humans.

The Potential Benefits of GM foods...

Without doubt there is a need to produce inexpensive, safe and nutritious foods to help feed the world’s growing population.

  • Sturdy plants able to withstand weather extremes
  • Better quality food crops
  • Higher nutritional yields in crops
  • Inexpensive and nutritious food, like carrots with more antioxidants
  • Foods with a greater shelf life, like tomatoes that taste better and last longer
  • Food with medicinal (nutraceutical) benefits, such as edible vaccines - for example, bananas with bacterial or rotavirus antigens
  • Crops resistant to disease and insects and produce that requires less chemical application, such as pesticide and herbicide resistant plants

The Risks Of Genetically Modified Crops...

  • New allergens
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Cross-breeding
  • Herbicide tolerant
  • Pesticide resistant insects
  • Biodiversity
  • Cross-contamination
  • Pesticide use
  • Health effects

Some will argue that the crops we use for food today and the animals we eat, even our domestic pets and the plants in our gardens are considerably different from those that existed in the past. However that is not the same as Genetically modifying foods, and companies such as Monsanto can patent them and have complete control of the World's food supply.

It is true that many thousands of years of selective breeding have improved crop yields and milk production, the quantity of meat on cattle and the sizes and colors of our flowers, although in the case of farming even this has in many cases had a major impact on wildlife and in certain areas created large areas of land that have become dust bowls and now unproductive.

It is because of commercial interests that the general public is being denied the right to find out about GE ingredients that are in the food chain, and as a consequence are losing the ability to avoid them, and that is in spite of the existence of labelling laws in a number of countries.

Genetic pollution could turn out to be a major danger in the coming years as once GM crops have been released into the environment cannot be recalled.

Labelling of GM foods...

This is another area of concern as it appears that GM companies are under no obligation to include GM ingredients on food labels.

Genetically Modified Foods have been hailed as the saviors of third world countries as they can be altered to thrive in dry, arid countries where there is minimal rainfall.

Now my final thoughts…

...there are few people that would deny some of the benefits of modern genetic engineering in medical science. The application of genetically modified bacteria to develop new drugs such as insulin has been a revolution in medicine and saved countless lives. However there are still too many unknowns, and there are many farmers in developing countries who wish they had never been involved with Genetically Modified Foods.

Genetic engineering: The world's greatest scam?...

There are both negatives and positives to the use of GM foods…. I'll let you decide which food path you choose! Let's hear what you think about the use of Genetically Modified Foods. Do You think they are good or bad and why?

GM Foods Have Your Say!

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