Genetically Modified Foods
Food insecurity is a detrimental issue that each country across the world intends to curb. The most primary method of controlling food security is that of producing more food for storage, as well as, producing food in a quicker manner. The introduction of different scientific approaches to the issue of food insecurity gets used trying to seek a possible solution to the problem. The introduction of the genetically modified foods is one approach of biotechnology in the field of food production. The introduction of this science draws different reactions concerning the techniques used and the feasible impacts. First, Genetically Modified Foods get produced after a series of alteration in the DNA composition and structure of specific foods. The scientific technique allows for the establishment of new trail of food characteristics vis-à-vis the good’s genetic structure. Some of the feasible methods applied in the process of converting these foods includes the mutation breeding, as well as, selecting breeding. The idea of developing the Genetically Modified Foods originated from the forums developed to resolve food insecurity and the farming practices and challenges facing farmers.
Historically, the first plant to get genetically modified got produced in the year 1983. The process incorporated some antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant. Further in history, some Trans-generic foods such as the Flavr Savr acquired approval by the FDA of the United States. However, the first foods to get approved for consumption in the United States acquired the platform in the year 1995 (Gaskell, Bauer, Durant & Allum, 1999). Currently, the predominant plants that adopt the genetic engineering process are cash crops. The cash crops applying this process must have had a steering factor before actualizing the process of enhancing scientific alterations. The demand for plants like soybean, canola, cottonseed oil and corn fosters the need for increased production of the same. Some of the scientific professions insist that the engineering of the plants DNA intends to protect the plants from the highly non-resistant pathogens. It is also assumed that the plants acquire a better profile of nutrients.
Other avenues, where the Genetic modification is taking place, is in livestock. However, their market does not have any substantial capacity of the genetically modified livestock. Numerous issues and processions that took place during the initial stages of enhancing the establishment of genetic modification of plants. In fact, there were conspicuous legal stipulations that intended to assure the public that the modifications were of utmost benefits. The controversy in the Genetic modification foods issue is that they are partially artificial. The alteration of the foods structure does not even outline any feasible negativity that the consumers would have to put assume (Baker & Burnham, 2001). What most scientists aimed at was to boost the level of yield with regards to quality and volume. The future inventions in the Genetic modification could focus on altering the content of the nutrients in the food substances. The application of the genetic modification could also seek to establish the platform where the allergic potential of the plants reduces equivalently. Thus, food efficiency will be the forefront objective like it has always been.
Different scholars approach the issue of food and genetic modification from different angles. Some try to establish the kind of societal response that the public has towards the foods. Alternatively, other scholars try to raise the social issue affiliated with the genetically modified foods (Frewer, Lassen, Kettlitz, Scholderer, Beekman & Berdal, 2004). A hysteria yielded by some organizations such as Greenpeace and the Friends of the Earth offer a different idea with regards to the genetically modified foods. The importance of communication has been the factor behind any form of revolt in the development and spread of genetic modification from the developed to the developing countries. Recent trends in food acts from different countries read a different script from that of the commencing years. The idea of Genetically Modified Foods got embraced during the initial times. However, the alarm has gone to the farming practices and the nutrition awareness programs. People now fathom differently about what the genetically modified foods can change.
Critical issues related to Genetically Modified Foods
The world of farming and nutrition is facing myriad challenges affiliated with the genetic modification of foods. Consequentially, legal frameworks of different nations have to engage in the implementation of the food policies for or against genetic modification. The initial objectives of establishing this scientific invention were to ensure that food supply equated to the food demand (Frewer et.al, 2004). The entire issue focused on food security. In addition, the invention was a farming intervention. There were numerous insects and pathogens that affected the yield rate. They either could not get depleted by the use of existing herbicides and insecticides. For this reason, it was the responsibility of the scientist to come up with a different creature that would nullify the impacts of these resistant pathogens. However, there are some critical issues that are cropping up about the endorsement of genetically modified foods in different countries across the globe.
There are allegations that the genetically modified crop production is the core cause of reduced yields and increased pesticides use in the United States and other countries (Frewer et.al, 2004). Complaints imply that artificial foods should not undergo any further approval for consumption. Most entities and individuals complain lack of adequate information on the GMO foods. Over the last several years, some countries have engaged in banning of the GMOs and the pesticides related to them. One of the recent countries to implicate that ban is Russia. The scientists made a controversial ban of GMOs for a period of about ten years. Myriad credible scientific studies indicate that is inappropriate for one to overconsume the genetically modified foods. The inferences are gaining momentum and strength by the day. Most of the foods, according to the public, have been altered by the democratic consent of the consumer’s preferences. Some complaints factual because others are peer-related.
Issue of transfer of genetically modified Crop DNA to human consumers (Horizontal gene transfer)
Researchers are trying to identify the possible cause-effect of genetically modified foods to the consumers. New research is providing a clear and concise evidence of the fact that the meals comprised of the DNA fragments carry absolute genes. These genes enter the human circulatory system via a mechanism that is yet to get established. A recent study documented I the peer-reviewed public library of science indicated that the blood samples exhibited higher plant DNA proportion compared to that of the human DNA (Frewer, Scholderer, & Bredahl, 2003). A substantial sample portfolio collected from approximately 1000 respondents. The inference in this research confirms what most of the public activists against this kind of food is trying to state.
Human beings deserve to live a normal life without uninformed alterations. The bloodstreams are the instrument that carries the transformation that possibly emerges from the consumption of genetically modified foods. The changing of the normal human development depletes the expected strength of eth human body with regards to immunity. The blood cells get altered. For instance, scholarly research determined that the plasma component of the blood harbors the plant DNA. Resultantly, some of the consumers of the products pass on the genes to their children (Baker & Burnham, 2001). Some of the children get affected by these genes leading to possible disabilities.
Public rejection or acceptance of the genetically modified foods
Genetically modified are a social resolution to the problems that result from insufficient food supply. However, their immediate action of resolving food insecurity or the farming challenges results into unintended stressors. For instance, the improvisation of the new modified foods expects to resolve the farming problems of reducing the resistant pathogens. However, this works out differently with the public (Frewer et.al, 2004).
Democracy calls for choice of food to consume or food to reject. The genetically modified foods are being considered as quite risky for human consumption. The inferences made by current scientists and other activists are likely to disregard consuming the food. Initially, there exist factors that contribute to the negative attribute of the foods. For instance, there are beliefs that there are negative impacts of producing or agricultural endeavors in relations to the health of animals and human beings (Frewer et.al, 2004). Ethically, people tend to dismiss the products that could result in the health damage. The trend of disregarding the foods associated with genetic engineering. There are several countries in the developed countries that are affecting legal bans to genetically modified food. However, most of the developing countries are doing the opposite. The impacts of poverty and climatic changes are leading to involuntary acceptance of the food. The priority of these countries is to ensure enough food to sustain the local population.
Consideration of the labelling of genetically modified food
Developed countries like the United States are still underway in discussing the validity and the essence of the genetically engineered goods. The United States comprises of about 25 states. Most of these states are considering establishing of legislation for the labelling of genetically modified foods (Senauer, 2013). The most important issues that the legislators intend to do is to ensure that there is absolute knowledge about the products amongst the consumers. The consumers ought to know that the genetic engineering remains controversial. The majority of the countries, besides the Unites States, supports the idea of labelling. A majority of the ideologies that support the idea of using the genetically modified foods to ensure food security belief that labeling is a false warning (Senauer, 2013). They believe that it is the duty of the consumers to decide on the best option between the organic and the genetically engineered products. Thus, the aspect of labelling laws is likely to result in legal challenges. Federal activists may, with certainty, avoid personifying the matter. The countries that support labelling include Australia, Japan and China.
Genetically modified food safety assessment
Every food component, organic or genetically engineered, ought to go through the legal channel of screening. For instance, the United States is taking the initiative to evaluate the safety of the food. The government delegated the mandate to the US Food and Drug Administration to carry out the evaluations (Gaskell, Bauer, Durant & Allum, 1999). It is the mandate of such agencies to take action in case food presents safety risk signs. Examples of elements and issues that safety screening considers include toxic substances, allergic components, adverse nutrition changes and horizontal gene transfer. Some of the activists for genetically modified foods partially support this initiative provided that the responsible agencies are bi-partisan.
Summary Literature review
The genetically modified foods are a result of the intensive application of technology. The initiative of the scientists who engaged in the development of these foods was to ensure that the world does not suffer from depleted agricultural and food supply. The organic foods take longer to grow. For this reason, cases of food insecurity would have to force the world to undergo the hunger epidemic. The food biotechnology is the historical reference to the current trends of food genetic engineering or modification. Prior to the current trends in the industry, there were focused intention to save the world from farming misfortunes and hunger epidemics. However, it is unfortunate that some individuals and investors are taking the issues into their vested interests to ensure that they grow economically by making quick produce.
Thus, the disputes regarding the genetically modified foods are all over. The disputes regarding already manufactured foods or the agriculturally produced foods are of utterly important in the future regulations of the same. The disputes and crisis, in this case, apply to the consumers, farmers, government regulatory bodies, scientists, biotechnology companies and non-government organizations (Baker & Burnham, 2001). The major conflicting issues that feature within the context of these technologically developed foods includes the labelling of the foods (Senauer, 2013). In addition, the conflicts and controversial issues regarding the role of government regulators are also other issues facing the foods existence and appreciation. The disputes also feature the impacts of the genetically modified crops on the environment and the health status of the consumers. The impacts of the pesticide resistance and the impact of the trend on farmers is also an outstanding issue related to the crop. However, the overall and well acknowledged rationale for adopting the technological foods to feed the global population.
The licensing and acceptability of the genetically modified foods took course in the year 1993 to 1995. However, myriad opponents of the genetically modified foods, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Organic Consumers Associations offer a contradictory inference about technological food (Baker & Burnham, 2001). The legislatures face a very complex time trying to resettle the demised relationship between supporters of organic foods and the technological foods. The conclusion is due.
The fact that genetically mutilated foods can result in altered human and animal growth is absolute and practical. Concurrently, the adoption of genetically modified foods should be for a justifiable reason. Most of the investors in food production and agriculture adopt the technological development of food since they intend to make quick returns. Accordingly, the opponents of the genetically modified foods are justified to react the way they do with the objective of producing these foods. Arguably, food production in the technological way ought to get performed for the purpose of increasing food supply. However, the organic foods should of preference to give relevance to the innovation of the genetic foods. The health of the entire global population is at a risk of jeopardy if intensive production and consumption of genetically engineered foods is done excessively. Currently, the status and the appropriateness of the genetically modified foods is yet to get justified.
Frewer, L., Lassen, J., Kettlitz, B., Scholderer, J., Beekman, V., & Berdal, K. G. (2004). Societal aspects of genetically modified foods. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 42(7), 1181-1193.
Senauer, B. (2013). Considering the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically-Engineered (GE) Foods in the US.
Gaskell, G., Bauer, M. W., Durant, J., & Allum, N. C. (1999). Worlds apart? The reception of genetically modified foods in Europe and the US. Science, 285(5426), 384-387.
Frewer, L. J., Scholderer, J., & Bredahl, L. (2003). Communicating about the risks and benefits of genetically modified foods: The mediating role of trust. Risk analysis, 23(6), 1117-1133.
Baker, G. A., & Burnham, T. A. (2001). Consumer response to genetically modified foods: Market segment analysis and implications for producers and policy makers. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 387-403.