Food, shelter and clothing are the three necessities of life. A rapidly increasing population, climate change, conflict, low investment in subsistence agriculture, and poverty are some of the issues affecting food security on the planet. The application of Genetic engineering to food production promises to stem the tide of food scarcity and usher a period of food surplus. The application of genetic been raised against its negative effect, especially on human health and well-being. What are genetically modified foods? Is there any adverse effect of consuming genetically modified foods? These and similar questions would be addressed in the course of this little exposition.
What Are Genetically Modified Foods?
Have you ever noticed a tag that reads “GMO or no GMO” on any agricultural product in a retail or grocery store? As the name implies, Genetically Modified foods, also known as Genetically Engineered foods are foods derived from an organism whose DNA has been altered artificially by introducing an “alien” gene.
Consider this example; A soybean seed is taken to the laboratory; its DNA is modified by introducing DNA strands from other organisms to ensure its resistance to diseases. A farmer plants the genetically modified soybean seed. It germinates without the farmer needing to worry about diseases affecting the plant yield. The farmer saves money and reaps substantial profit from his investment.
This shouldn’t generate any controversy, you may think. Perish that thought, genetically modified foods are a subject of heated debates and controversies. What doesn’t create controversies these days anyways?
Controversies surrounding genetically modified foods.
There have been a series of protests against genetically modified foods. Beginning from the middle of the last century , several anti-GMO groups have pressurized government the world over to put a halt to the production of genetically modified foods. It has been argued that it causes a damaging effect on people’s health. It is believed in some quarters that genetically modified foods cause cancer, infertility and allergic reactions.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, no proof that Genetically Modified foods cause cancer. The United States’ Food and Drug Administration which is the government agency in charge of ascertaining the safety of food and drugs have set a standard for genetically modified foods to meet to ensure their safety.
There is a consensus among experts that there is no substantial evidence to suggest that Genetically Modified Foods are harmful to human health. If you still doubt the safety of Genetically Modified Foods, we recommend that you keep to a strictly organic diet. It is advisable that you check food items for GMO labels before purchase.
Russia’s ban on Genetically Modified Foods.
Russia’s president’s Vladimir Putin is no fan of Genetically Modified Foods. He has signed a law banning the production and importation of genetically modified foods. Failure to comply with the ban except for scientific research attracts a hefty fine. The reason for the ban may be connected to its many controversies, especially as to harming health. Russia’s Vladimir Putin is one of the strongest advocates against Genetically Modified Organisms.
While there is no substantial proof that genetically modified foods have a devastating effect on human health, there is a need for more scientific research to assure the public of its safety. Government the world over should put all hands on deck to see that the production of Genetically Modified Foods is regulated to ensure safety.