Genetically Modified Food


Genetic modification of organisms in general is a biotechnological process that forces genes to behave according to certain characteristics. Changing characteristics of organisms is based on
changing their DNA (tech deoxyribonucleic acid; the acid which carries genetic information in a
cell). It is being used for modifying genes in plants, animals or micro-organisms. It is being also used especially with food in order to improve the nutritious quality, make less use of chemicals such as pesticides, which proved to be extremely harmful, and sometimes to add flavour.


Genetically modified food (GMF) is considered one of the modern production improvements and the largest food experiments in the world’s history. However, it is very vital to dispel misconception about the nature of food. GMF is a mixed blessing which has a lot of benefits but at the same time may arouse problems. It has many good aspects, such as making plants ripen faster, improving the specie’s taste and look, and providing Third World countries with healthier and cheaper food. Genetic modification of food has won the admiration of a lot of people, including ourselves, because of its new and attractive accomplishments, but at the same time we should take into consideration its disadvantages and try to find ways to avoid them. Genetically modified products have several disadvantages which we believe are possibly avoidable through research and experiments. Most of the time, the sale of GMFs is being permitted without posing the risks and without informing the public with the possible danger. This of course is a violation of human rights which can Nagi2 easily be avoided by simply informing consumers of the characteristics of the product.


When genetic engineers insert new genes into any organism, it can lead to disruption and unpredictable changes in the pattern and structure of the new genetic function. "In fact, the process of inserting genes is quite random and can damage normal genes " (Genetic Engineered Food - A Serious Health Risk 3). Therefore, harmful substances may appear unexpectedly and can possibly create viruses and new dangerous diseases. Therefore, it is the obligation of experts to examine GM products before making them available to the public in order to avoid undesirable diseases. A common example is, when some people who are allergic to certain kinds of food such as fish eat genetically modified products such as tomatoes which were injected with genes similar to these fish, they get easily affected by allergens.


Also, GMFs might contain toxins, which may negatively affect human beings. An experiment run on rats by feeding them with GM potatoes affected their digestive tracks caused changes in some of their organ weights and caused adverse effects on their immune system(south pacific consumer protection programme1). Such experiments show the importance of thoroughly examining GM products and making sure of their safety on humans. In addition to that, there are long-term effects with reasons not yet identified. That could also be avoided by further research and continued experiments.


GMF is now entering the market with an increasing rate. Products include tomatoes, corn, potatoes and soybeans. A main problem is that the issue of labelling these products is not yet widely used. Most developed countries have adopted laws Nagi 3 that require product labelling of ingredients, fats, vitamin, protein and carbohydrate. These nutrition information provides consumers with a level of awareness and choice. Similarly, GMF producers are obliged to label their products. They have to provide their customers with all necessary information about the produce. This is the least that could be done to preserve the rights of consumers to know and decide for themselves. Labelling is then one possible choice that could help in avoiding some of the GMFs dangers. People have the right to know if the food they are consuming is genetically modified whether it is a matter of health, preference or just a matter of taste" Surveys consistently find that 85-90 % of consumers ...