- May 13, 2020
Limiting the Use of GMOs
Limitingthe Use of GMOs
Historically,the food generally consumed by humans were indigenous animals andplants. Eventually, the animals and plants baring the bestcharacteristics got the opportunity to bred and come up with othergenerations of food. These characteristics naturally occurred due togenetic make-up variations associated with the animals and plant.Presently, modification of a living organism or cell’s geneticmake-up is possible through new biotechnological approaches named asgene technology (Qaim & Shahzad, 1). in this process, a geneticelement undergoes artificial alterations to present it with adifferent property that may include plant, disease, drought, orinsect resistance, increased yield, plant herbicide tolerance, andenhancing nutritional value or food quality. Therefore, theorganisms, which undergo genetic alterations through gene insertion,mutation, or deletion to achieve desirable characteristics, includinga longer shelf life, are named GMOs (genetically modified organisms).In this essay, I will discuss the manner by which people can limittheir utilization of GMO products in the market.
Theprimary reason for introducing GMO products due to the fact that onein every eight individuals among the seven billion global populationcannot find enough of food to eat (Zilberman etal.,91). Owing to this, modern methods gained more popular since theyaimed to provide food for the malnourished and hungry throughout theworld, mainly in the third world countries. GMOs in the United Statesare extensively employed in foods, principally in the processedfoods. In agreement with National Centre for Food and AgriculturalPolicy website, staple food crops like corn and soy beans are almostentirely modified with a ninety percent statistic estimate linked tothis practice. The other largely altered crops include alfalfa, sugarbeets, and canola oil. Further, GMO is attracting interest inpharmaceuticals and scientific studies making it a highly debatedconcept among scholars, leaders, and the citizens alike.
NegativeConcerns that instigate Limiting Reasons
Someof the people involved in this debate are against the use of GMOs inthe daily foods found in the market. They argue that these organismsare potentially harmful to the environment. They claim that thesegenes may cumulate in unexpected places via gene escape passing tomembers of similar or different species occurring at either cell,gene, ecosystem, or plant level (Qaim & Shahzad, 3). The endresult would be issues such as weed herbicide-resistance making itdifficult to produce the intended plant for food. Another reasonrelated to GMO contact with native and wild populations. In agreementwith Ehrenberg (26), GMOs may breed or compete with other wildspecies, especially farmed fish. Genetically modified crops maythreaten an ecosystem’s crop diversity if grown in locations thatare closer to the original crop. Furthermore, these organisms mayrival and ultimately replace conventional wild relatives and farmervarieties that evolved or were bred to withstand local stresses. GMO’s also impact insect, soil, and bird biota despite them beingnon-target species and only participate in the pollination process(Ehrenberg, 24). In particular, people dread that the extensiveutilization of genetically modified crops may allow insects todevelop herbicide-resistance from the products used in these plants.
Anothernegative argument connected with genetically modified organismsinclude their negative consequences on human health. They noted thatallergenic genes from these products could accidentally transfer intoother species initiating dangerous responses in individualssusceptible to allergies (Ehrenberg (23). GM products primarilyintended for animal feed ended up in the human consumed productscausing health issues. Subsequently, GMOs are said to havesocio-economic outcomes. Farmers will have little contact with plantmaterial because GMO products are predominately a project of powerfulorganizations making them dictate the agricultural sector. Suchactivities may limit the abilities of the small-scale farmers suchthat they have no income generated from their produce.
Dueto the negative outcomes regarding GMOs, it is apparent that thereare worldwide calls to initiate post-market vigilant systems thatmonitor its probable environment and eventual health effects. InBritain, the Food Standard Agency strategizes on monitoring the GMfoods consumption patterns matching them to cancer incidence,diabetes, birth defects, and other illness data (FSA website). Theprogram entails the compulsory labelling of these geneticallymodified food products. According to Bacarella etal.(145), this method is employed because there are no dependablephysiological examinations that can detect GM foods afterconsumption. Therefore, the labelling of these foods is the onlymethod to allow regulators and consumers know the amount and type ofgenetically modified foods being consumed (Premanandh, 40). In theUnited States of America, a comparable surveillance program wasproposed by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS website). However,the country’s government opposes the compulsory labelling ofgenetically modified foods since they believe they have no known riskto public health. They also claim that the process of labelling andtracing would become expensive for the agricultural industry.
Ultimately,the decision to limit the intake of genetically modified foods in theUnited States of America is a personal decision because theseproducts are already flooding the market. One can choose to only buytheir products from local organic farms and stick to this form ofdiet for assurance since the small scale farmers tend not to grow GMOproducts. If one needs food from stores should visit the organicsectors since these are not permitted to undergo genetic alterations.Further, one can purchase foods from non-profit organizations becausethey tend to verify the status of food stuff. Also, to limit theconsumption of genetically manufactured foods extensively, thecitizens should limit their intake of processed foods and furtheravoid products prone to genetic alterations like soy beans. Whenconsumers in the U.S. turn to such behaviours, they will effectivelygain the attention of their government because they will affectprofits gained from the selling of GM foods. Due to this, thegovernment will have to make considerations of incorporatinglabelling so that they can allow the consumers to define the amountof genetically engineered products they want in their diet.
Inthe American market today, it is very difficult for a consumer toknow which food is organic and which is genetically engineered. Forthis reason, they can decide on predominantly engaging with organicfoods only to reduce their GMO intake, especially due to the foodsenvironmental, human health, and socio-economic negative effects.Howbeit, the decision has limitations since most of these foods aresimilar to organic products making it difficult for the less learnedto differentiate them. Overall, the limit of GMO intake is personaland all individuals should take responsibility of what they introduceinto their body systems.
Bacarella,S, et al. “Importance of Food Labelling as a means of Informationand Traceability According to Consumers.” Advancesin Horticultural Sciences, vol.29, no. 2/3, 2015, pp 145
Ehrenberg,Rachel. “GMOs under scrutiny: engineered foods have withstoodsafety concerns, but haven’t fulfilled big promises.” ScienceNews, 2016,pp 22-27
FoodsStandards Agency. GMFood and Feed, and Traceability and Labelling of GMOs: Guidance Noteson the Regulations.Foods Standard Agency Website, retrieved online on 20 November 2016,from https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/guaidancenotes/labelregsguidance/gmguidance
NationalAcademy of Sciences. GeneticallyEngineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects. NationalAcademy of Sciences Website, retrieved online on 20 November 2016,from https://nas-sites.org/ge-crops/
NationalCentre for Food and Agricultural Policy. WhoWe Are,National Centre for Food and Agricultural Policy Website, retrievedonline on 20 November 2016, from www.ncfap.org/whatwedo.html
PremanandhJagadeesan. “Global Consensus-Need of the Hour for GeneticallyModified Organisms (GMO) labelling.” Journalof Commercial Biotechnology,vol. 17,no.1, 2011, pp 37-44
Qaim,Matin, and Shahzad Kouser. “Genetically Modified Crops and FoodSecurity.”PlosONE, vol.8, no. 6, 2013, pp 1-7
Zilberman,David, et al. “Biotechnology and Food Security.” Journalof International Affairs, no.2, 2014, pp 91-105