Genetically Modified food is a technology that changes the genetic information of living organisms to make them more useful to human. This new technology was created through the combination of different genes from different living organisms. Genetically Modified food could be utilized in medicines, vaccines, foods, and other food ingredients (Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms). However, the most significant advantage of GM (Genetically Modified) food is that they contain adequate amounts of all necessary nutrients, which can prevent malnutrition.
They could be modified to enhance desired traits such as pest resistance.
The benefit of pest-resisting plant is one of the most prevalent reasons that GM foods are so popular among farmers around the world. Not only can they withstand pests, GM crops are capable of preventing diseases and surviving herbicides. These features of GM foods will help the world reduce the use of pesticide and other chemicals (Whitman). Despite the various benefits, people are starting to question the safety of GM foods for humans.
Mutations in food genes can occur during the process of modifying food genetically; moreover, GM foods were proved to create allergies and contain unknown threats inside foods. While genetically modified food can reduce the use of pesticide and other chemicals in food, it is still harmful to human because it can provoke mutations inside food genes and create allergies and unknown health threats to human. The positive effects of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) are known to the world in many ways.
A positive effect of GMO is that it can reduce the use of pesticides and other chemicals. GMO can do this because the food gene is designed to resist against pests, insects, herbicide, and other organisms that invade plants. Scientists have selected genes from other organisms that have protection against pests or herbicide, and insert them into crops. The result of this modification is that the crop will be able to produce its own pesticide, this would help farmers to reduce the use of pesticide on plants; since, plants can produce it automatically.
The first GM crop that reached the market was Bt cotton, with this crop; farmers can spray less pesticide and improve the health of consumers. The planting of GM cotton had been very effective to farmers, “Transgenic cotton reduced pesticide use by more than two million pounds in the United States from 1996 to 2000, and it has reduced pesticide sprayings in parts of China by more than half” (Rauch). Genetically Modified crops have been successful in the United States and China because these two countries are the major producers in the agricultural world.
To further prove this point, the use of pesticide had reduced by more than 14 million pounds on 23 million acres of U. S. land; ever since the use of GMO which was proven to be statistically significant (Rauch). However the various consequences that follow the benefits of Genetically Modified foods such as the threat to human health outweigh its benefits. The negative consequences of GM food are innumerable, but one of the worst consequence is that the process of modifying food genetically can cause mutations inside the food gene.
The foreign genes or the promoters that scientists insert into the food gene are gut bacteria. This means that GM food that people around the world are consuming contains genes from bacteria (Leahy). The foreign gene is believed to damage parts of the food gene which causes mutations that generates a new protein. In other word, the bacteria will be equipped with new foreign gene which can create a dangerous protein (Gerdes). This GMO problem is linked with prevalent health problems as seen an experiments which shows that GMO causes massive systemic health problems in rats.
One of the experiment in rats showed that, “Virtually every organ in the animals’ bodies was affected by eating the GM potato – their brains, livers and testicles were generally smaller, pathological changes in the thymus and spleen were detected and the animals’ immune systems were damaged” (Smith). This was the result of the experiment that was conducted by Arpad Pusztai who is a pro-GM scientist with a stellar reputation. The result of his experiment shows that GM food is one of the diets that human should not be consuming.
He proved that every GM foods have something foreign and different about them, which can provoke reactions frequently. Since the genes that are implanted in GM foods come from bacteria, they would rearrange over time to form its original structure (Smith). The rearrangement of genes would subsequently develop into allergies inside food. The world of genetically modified food can result in allergies and unknown threats to people who are consuming them. Some of these consumers have no ideas of what GMO can cause to their bodies.
The process of modifying food genetically generates a new protein, which is likely to be different from the one that was intended. These proteins inside GM foods are never before, a part of the human food supply and this makes them capable of being an allergen that causes allergies to human. GMO could also be toxic because it was never subject to any safety studies (Leahy). For instance, in GM soya, the levels of allergen in GM soya are seven times higher than natural soya (Smith). From this, another problem emerges; these allergens can lead people to face potentially dangerous unknown threats which can result in death.
Scientists across North America conducted an experiment showing that varieties of animals avoid eating GM plants. When these animals are FORCED to eat GM food, essentially every system in their bodies was damaged, “They had stunted growth, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshapen cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed brains and testicles, enlarged livers… (Smith). These are only a few symptoms that are established through GMO, but the worst thing that results from them is death. Therefore, are Genetically Modified foods harmful to human health? GM food is definitely harmful to humans since it can creates allergies and unknown threats, even if they can reduce the use of pesticide and other chemicals in food. By creating Genetically Modified foods, mutation of genes can easily occur inside food. The mutation can create a novel protein, which is an allergen that results from the gut bacteria that were inserted into the food gene.
The allergen can creates allergies and unknown threats for the consumers, which can results in an astounding death. So this proved that Genetically Modified food is harmful to health and it wasn’t meant to be in the human’s diet in the first place. The problem should not be overlooked or underestimated because there are over millions of people that have to live with these stuffs each day, and they don’t even know the possible danger of it. If the problem continues and the people of the world adopt GM food as their diets, human might not last as long as God wanted it to be.
Cite this Are Genetically Modified Food Harmful to Human Health?
Are Genetically Modified Food Harmful to Human Health?. (2017, Apr 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/are-genetically-modified-food-harmful-to-human-health/