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Genetically Modified Food/Organisms - Essay Example

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Genetically Modified Food/Organisms Background of the Issue “Between 1997 and 1999, gene-modified (GM) ingredients suddenly appeared in 2/3rds of all US processed foods.” (Butcher). Flavr Savr, the first commercially grown genetically manipulated food tomato was released in the market in 1994 without any labeling…
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Download file to see previous pages It was developed as a “better” version of the normal regular tomatoes which are harvested when they are green, firm and are not completely flavorful. Thus the concept of genetic engineering and the resultant GM foods resulted in more foods including the soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. By 2003, countries that grew GM crops and the resultant GM food items increased sizably, with “United States growing around 63% of GM followed by Argentina (21%), Canada (6%), Brazil (4%), etc.”(Butcher). Genetic engineering and the recombinant DNA technology concepts were established as form of improvement and develop products including agricultural food products, which cannot be achieved through the regular farming practices or traditional cross-breeding and hybridization techniques. But still the concept underwent controversies over wide range of issues including health concerns for the humans, ecological imbalance, food safety, gene flow into the non-genetically engineered crops, etc., thus prompting interests as well as concerns about it. However, when viewed from another perspective, it is being said that lack of proper knowledge about the concepts and the reluctance to accept the change added more ‘fire’ up to the issue. ...
“Many children in the U.S and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods.” (Park). On those lines, the genetically modified food materials such as the milk, eggs, wheat, fish, peanuts, soybeans and shellfish are alleged to contain specific proteins which can cause over 90 percent of the food allergies. In addition, Maghari and Ardekani (112) state how due to the use of GM foods, “food borne diseases such as soya allergies have increased over the past 10 years in USA and UK”, and how “Bacillus thuringiensis corn expresses an allergenic protein which alters overall immunological reactions in the body”. Hence the FDA has enacted measures to prevent such circumstances by regulating the GM food producers to present the scientific evidence that they have not incorporated any allergic substances. In addition, there have been reports that genetically engineered potato caused severe damage in the intestinal tract of the human beings. This is due to the incorporation of a product called lectin which is considered to be toxic to mammals. Thus, GM foods are proven to have “unexpected allergic reactions and risks against environment and human health” (Kayabasi and Mucan 54). The major arguments in favor of GM foods include the increased crop production, pest or disease resistance varieties, and enhancement in the nutrition level of the food products. “Growing GM foods such as B.t. corn can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market.” (Park). Federici (515) validates this point by stating GM foods leads to “decreased pesticide use, increased vitamin content, increased crop yields, and that they have great ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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