Genetically Modified Foods
Genetic modification means denoting or derived from an organism whose DNA has been altered for the purpose of improvement or correction of defects, according to Dictionary.com. With food, the purpose of human-made genetic recombination in food is to help with the taste and improves resistance to diseases, pests and herbicides. Also it reduces maturation time, increases nutrients, yields and stress tolerance.
Before farmers sprayed chemical pesticide to prevent animals and consumers do not want to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because it could be hazardous to your health. Genetically modified foods, or biotech foods prevents pests from eating the food. Plant biologists are working to create genetically-engineered plants disease resistance, because plants have many viruses and bacteria that can cause plant diseases. Malnutrition is one of the common problems in third world countries for impoverished people. If food was genetically modified to add vitamins and nutrients can relieve this problem.
The foods that contain genes resulting from artificial genetic recombination are safe, but there could be some harmful effects. It is safe because of the quantity, if it is tested and how it might add more nutrients but people have raised questions. Most articles have stated that people have protested on genetically modified foods because of the harm it can do to people. It has been stirring up controversy since it started. Environmental activists, religious organizations, public interest groups, professional associations and other scientists and government officials have had some concerns about genetically modified foods and have criticized the agriculture businesses for getting money for GM foods without looking at how hazardous it might be. I used to watch the show Degrassi: The next Generation and one of the characters named Emma was really passionate about not letting genetically modified foods in their cafeteria, because it might contain poison.
There are over 40 varieties of crops that have completed all of the federal requirements of commercialization. The foods in the supermarket that result in genetic recombination are tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, soybeans, sugar beets, sweet peppers, potatoes, bananas, cotton plants and many more. Tomatoes and cantaloupes are to make them riper, soybeans and sugar beets are resistant to herbicides, and corn and cotton plants increase resistance to insects. Processed foods like popcorn, soy sauce and frozen pizza have been added to the list of genetically modified foods. The types of regulations that exists in the food is that the genetically modified foods like fruits and vegetables can prevent from being spoiled and can reduce or eliminate natural toxicants. The processed foods are not labeled as genetically modified so people have to do research on the food that they are eating to see if it is safe.
ProQuest (2000 April) Genetically Modified Foods: Helpful or Harmful? Retrieved from: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php
Global Healing Center, Natural Health and Organic living (2006) Genetically Modified Foods, Retrieved from: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/nutrition/genetically-modified-foods
BMJ Publishing Group (1999) Genetically Modified Foods. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115027/
Global Issues (2002) Genetically Engineered Foods, Retrieved from: http://www.globalissues.org/issue/188/genetically-engineered-food
Social Issues Research Centre-SIRC (2012) Genetically Modified Foods, Retrieved from: http://www.sirc.org/gate/gm_food.html