GM (Gentically Modified) or GE (Genetically Engineered) foods are plant crops created for the consumption of humans and animals using the latest genetic engineering techniques. Genetically modifying food involves altering a plant's genes, either by removing a gene or adding a gene from another living being. There has been high controversy around introducing GM foods as a solution to the world food crisis. Are GM foods harmful of helpful?
Many concerns have risen around GM foods, including economical and ecological concerns. Introducing a GM product to the market is a long and costly process. Big companies on the other hand, want to insure a lucrative return on their investment. Consumer advocates fear that this will only increase the prices of GM seads, and third world countries would not be able to purchase them. The major concerns are health risks and safety issues; safety issues are mostly environmental hazards. Professor Janice Jiggins (2008), of Wageningen University, questioned whether GM crops have been proven as safe. "There are many legitimate concerns about the presence of transgenics in food, as well as the safety standards that might be appropriate as these enter into animal and human food". Genetically modifying food can result in "genetic pollution", or gene transfer to non-target species. Where for example, genetically altered pollen is carried to neighbouring farms. Causing contamination with genetic drift. As a result, EU regulators consider setting a limit for genetic contamination of non GM foods. GM foods are unpredictable, and once released, are impossible to bring back to the laboratory. Ronnie Cummins (1999) of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) says "Genetic engineering of food and fiber products is inherently unpredictable and dangerous -- for humans, for animals, the environment, and for the future of sustainable and organic agriculture". Environmental risks also include reduced effectiveness of pesticides and their increase in...
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