Genetic Modified Food

Topics: DNA, Genetic engineering, Genetically modified food Pages: 13 (1696 words) Published: October 8, 1999
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 myself,

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

foodstuffs have several disadvantages which I

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...
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