The escalating costs of foodstuff are proving to be burdensome for the shoppers and for the poor and hungry in the developing nations of the world. This has paved the way for the promotion of Genetically Modified (GM) foods. Genetically modified foods (GM foods or GMO foods) are foods derived using genetically modified organisms, (GMOs). Genetically modified organisms have had certain changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. Genetic engineering is a novel technology that pushes genetic information across the protective species barrier in an unnatural way. Concern, over GMO foods, arises because these laboratory-created mutations are not labeled and are virtually untested.
To refer to any food that has been genetically modified (GM), as explained above, or food that contains Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), environmental and health activist groups have coined the term, Frankenfood. The reason why GM food is not suitable for consumption is that the gene pool of “natural” plants could be modified forever, if exposed to pollen from genetically modified plants. Concern escalates with the fear that people and animals consuming GM food might develop allergic reactions because of the altered protein and this may lead to health problems in future. Let us understand GM food in detail and its consequences.
What Are GMO’s?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been made through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). The term GM foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is usually used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption making use of the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been tailored in the laboratory to augment desired traits like enhanced resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content.
This new science enables the injection of DNA into another species in a lab, resulting in combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not crop up in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
Why GMO Foods Raise A Concern?
A large number of studies and incidents have concluded that GM foods may contribute to a wide variety of health problems, including accelerated aging, immune dysfunction, insulin disorders, organ damage and reproductive disruption. Environmental activists have argued that agribusiness is more concerned about pursuing profit and have no concern for potential hazards. On the other hand, in the U.S.A, FDA has approved the commercial production of GMOs based on studies undertaken by the companies who created them and want profit from their sale. There are many health-conscious shoppers, who find the lack of rigorous, independent, scientific examination influencing the consumption of GM foods and this raises a cause for concern.
Should People Go For Non-GMO foods and supplements?
A number of polls have depicted that many of the North Americans would like if they were able to tell whether the food product they are purchasing has GMOs. A recent CBS/New York Times poll revealed that 53% of consumers said that they would NOT go for GMOs. For the first time, the Non-GMO Project’s seal for verified products, will give the public an opportunity to make an educated choice when it comes to GMOs.
What Is The Role Of Non-GMO Project?
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization, formed by leaders representing all sectors of the organic and natural products industry in the U.S. and Canada. It aims to offer consumers a steady, non-GMO choice for food and products that are made without genetic engineering or recombinant DNA technologies. The Project’s Product Verification Program is completely voluntary, and participants of the project are those companies who visualize the value of offering their customers a verified non-GMO choice.
Thus, considering the effects, GMO foods can have on health and environment, there should be a consistent effort to go only for Non-GMO foods and move ahead towards a GMO free world.