With the development of science and technology, biotechnology has been applied as one of the eco-techno-political technologies in recent years. Therefore, genetically modified foods benefit a lot the human race, especially in developing countries which have a large number of people. With the wilder use of genetically modified foods, they not only solve the subsistence problems but also produce economic benefits. Additionally, genetic modification may help the plants perform a job that they cannot do, which satisfies the public requirement for a higher life quality. However, after ten-year introduction in EU, genetically modified foods are still unpopular. Despite the concerns about biological safety, particular genetically modified foods might impact the environment indirectly. Moreover, it is indeed hard to find an effective way to solve the drawback of genetically modified foods. Hence, whether they are positive or not are still debates
First of all, it is necessary to display a clear definition and societal issues towards genetically modified foods. Genetically modified foods are species whose genes have been changed to perform a desired function (Le, Fernandez & Gabriel, 2004). However, the public concerns about genetically modified foods are not optimistic. In Western Europe, 70 per cent of consumers are against genetically modified foods (Ritsema, 2006). The huge number of rejection lead to the decline of market and industry. Thus, why do many people against genetically modified foods.
While genetically modified foods bring benefits, there are still several safety issues towards genetically modified foods. As for human health, the concerns for safety, allergenicity, toxicity, carcinogenicity, and altered nutritional quality of food are controversial. Due to the fact that GM contains the transfer of genes that may code for proteins not normally present, which means there exist unknown character will be more or less allergenic than their conventional foods. On the other hand, a case involved an epidemic of eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS) in 1989 which leaded to 37 deaths and more than 1,500 non-fatal reported cases. Although there have been no established cases of food toxicity resulting from genetically modified foods, it can be seen clearly that genetically modified foods may bring potential risks of toxicity (Goodyear-Smith, 2011). Additionally, Goodyear-Smith (2001) also claims that genetically modified foods might do harm to human physical healthy. More accurately, “Maker” gene will lead to a antibiotic which can be used to kill the cells that have not experienced genetically modification (Goodyear-Smith, 2001).
However, the most serious damage that genetically modified foods have brought is environmental harm. According to Azadi and Ho (2010), a recent survey of 1000 cotton farm households reported that a strong increase in secondary pests that have been noticed after genetically modified cotton introduced. Moreover, Smith points that the resistance of genetically modified crops towards herbicides are under evolution. It might result in the development of herbicidal-resistant “superweeds”. Unfortunately, genetically modified crops contain a natural insert toxin Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (Goodyear-Smith, 2001), which may lead to the natural selection of Bt-resistant insect. Thus, after a long team selection, those insects will finally develop the toxin resistance. According to Dale, Clarke and Fontes (2002), the transgenic crops may impact the environment indirectly. The effects might be related to recombinant and novel combinations of DNA penetrating into the environment. The release of novel DNA will pass into wilder environment by food chain. Finally, novel DNA might appear in animal-derived products. Futhermore, the effects on wildlife biodiversity is also urgent. The GM herbicide-tolerant crops exist resistance to broad-spectrum herbicides, this may lead to reduce the diversity of weeds in...
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