Genetically Modified Organisms In Human Food
Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are experimental plants and animals that get engineered in a lab with the DNAs of other plants, animals, bacteria and viruses. GMOs are presumably the improved versions of the original organisms. GMOs in human foods are in the form of meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, corn, soy, sugar, oils, tomatoes, potatoes, wheat, peas, papayas and rice.
The debate on introducing DMOs in human food is still ongoing. Those opposing the idea worry about the health concerns raised by GMO in human food. Studies have shown that GMOs in human food can increase the risk of food-based allergies in the public. Some GMOs even have in-built antibiotic features which enhances the human immunity to antibiotics. This in turn lowers the effectiveness of real antibiotics in humans.
The idea of GMO food receives support by some as the modified crops are healthier and more resistant to extreme weathers and infestations and thus have low chances of crop failure. Surplus food production and its availability to people is important to meet the food needs of ever-increasing world population. Furthermore, GMO food is also an environment friendly option. GMO crops and animals require less land, chemicals, time and machines which in turn reduces the amount of environmental pollution, soil erosion and greenhouse gas emission. GMO animals and plants are more resistant to diseases. This is because instead of giving external vaccines shots to their immune system, the DNA has the vaccine encoded in it.
For introducing GMOs in human food at massive scale, the benefits must outweigh the risks. In areas where the natural food production is already in surplus, introducing GMOs in human foods may stir up opposition. However, in developing countries where there is famine and people are dying from hunger and the farming conditions are poor, the health concerns raised by GMOs in human foods are insignificant. GMO foods have a longer shelf life. This ensures the safe arrival of nutritious food to these poor countries. GMO food are more nutritious. As GMO foods get engineered by humans, the vitamin and mineral content in the food can also be regulated. By increasing the amount of necessary nutrients, companies can aid in fighting the worldwide malnutrition problem.
Generally, the food products that contain GMOs have labels marked on them. So people who have reservations about ingesting GMOs have the option to choose products that have only organic fruits and vegetables in their ingredients.