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GM foods were firstly introduced into market in 1996.Generally; biotech foods include soybean, canola, rice, corn, and cotton seed oil. The use of GM foods has been increasingly growing since its introduction in 1996 despite their adverse effects on health and environment. I would like describe why genetically modified foods are not good to eat. Genetically modified foods Here I am going to discuss impacts of GM foods on human health. Health complications resulting from genetically modified foods can be categorized into fatal and near-fatal. Fatal risks of GM foods 1. Deaths 2. Cancer 3. Allergic reactions 1. Deaths Reports indicate that use of some sorts of genetically modified foods may cause death. To illustrate, a number of Americans died and thousands of others sustained serious health issues by a genetically modified food supplement called L-tryptophan in 1989; this food supplement created a debilitating ailment named Eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS) (“50 harmful effects”). Regulators point out that some of the GM foods are still sold without proper safety tests and this adverse practice may lead to severe complications. In addition, scientists report that animals used in the lab tests of GM foods die prematurely. However, recent developments in the agriculture biotechnology promise that it is possible to develop GM foods containing sufficient levels of nutrition. 2. Cancer Researchers argue that eating genetically modified foods may result in cancer. The risk of stomach and colon cancers is increased by GM foods that contain a cauliflower virus. According to one argument, “it is possible GM DNA could affect stomach and colonic lining by causing a growth factor effect with the unproven possibility of hastening cancer formation in those organs”. (“GM food can cause cancer”). And people who reside near GM crop farms are highly vulnerable to cancer as they are most likely to be affected by GM contaminated food and water. Many other studies reflect that GM foods have the capability to stimulate cancerous cell growth. However, well tested GM foods can provide benefits including herbicide tolerance and cold tolerance. Furthermore, GM foods discourage the use of toxic chemicals as it can be resistant to pests. 3. Allergic reactions Allergenicity is one of the potential risks of genetically modified crops to human health. According to reports, many children in the United States and European countries have developed dreadful allergic reactions to peanuts and other genetically modified foods. As Whiteman states, when introducing a new gene into a plant, either a new allergen may be formed or allergic reactions may be developed in susceptible individuals in response to this process. StarLink corn is one of the best known cases of GD food causing serious allergic reactions. The StarLink contained a protein called cry9C to protect the corn from black cutworms and corn borers. In 2000, components of cry9C DNA were detected in food products. As per the reports of ScienceDaily, it is believed that StarLink corn was the primary cause behind increased rate of asthma attacks and other allergies developed in its consumers. However, this technology eliminates crop wastage because of its pest resistance capability. Hence, it is the most cost effective way of agriculture. Near-fatal risks of GM foods 1. Viral and bacterial illnesses 2. Environmental risks 3. Other general risks 1. Viral and bacterial illnesses Even though viral and bacterial illnesses are not severe like those risks described above, they may also lead to death unless the infected person seeks treatment in time. Researchers have identified that viruses like cauliflower mosaic virus CaMV, used in genetic
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