Nataliya Mogilna, Alex Magufwa
Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine
What are genetically-modified foods?
"Genetically modified foods" is the term most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or ani mal consumption, which have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits or improved nutritional content. The enhancement of desired traits has traditionally been undertaken through breeding, but conventional plant breeding methods can be very time consuming and are often not very accurate. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, can create plants with the exact desired trait very rapidly and with great accuracy.
GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. Typically, genetically modified foods are plant products: soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil, but animal products have been proposed.
The first commercially grown genetically modified whole food crop was the tomato puree (called FlavrSavr), which was made more resistant to rotting by Californian company Calgene. Currently, th ere are a number of foods of which a genetically modified version exists.
What plants are involved?
Some foods have been modified to make them resistant to insects and viruses and more able to tolerate herbicides.
Crops that have been modified for these purposes, with approval from the relevant authorities, in a number of countries, include: maize, soybean, oilseed rape (canola), chicory, squash, potato.
Some of the advantages of GM foods:
There is a need to produce inexpensive, safe and nutritious foods to help feed the world’s growing population.
Genetic modification may provide:
Better quality food.
Higher nutritional yields.
Inexpensive and nutritious food, like carrots with more antioxidants.
Foods with a greater shelf life, like tomatoes that taste better and last longer.
Food with medicinal benefits, such as edible vaccines - for example,