Whats Really For Dinner? An Argument Against Genetically Modified Organisms
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Don't have an account? Forgot Password? Not an Irish Times subscriber? GMO stands for genetically modified organism.
Okay, let’s settle this—are GMOs bad for you or not?
Genetically modified GM foods are made from soy , corn , or other crops grown from seeds with genetically engineered DNA. According to the U.
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Unless you consciously avoid them, GM foods likely find their way into many of your snacks and meals. Some people believe GM foods are safe, healthy, and sustainable, while others claim the opposite.
Read on to learn about the pros and cons — and what the research says. Scientists genetically engineer seeds for many reasons.
Specials : Nature
They also engineer seeds to give GM foods stronger colors, increase their shelf life, or eliminate seeds. Some GM foods also have been engineered to have higher levels of specific nutrients, such as protein , calcium , or folate. Proponents of GM food contend that genetic engineering can help us find sustainable ways to feed people. Specifically, in countries that lack access to nutrient-rich foods.
The heartiness of some GM crops makes it so they can grow in marginal environments. The longer shelf life of some GM foods allows them to be shipped to remote areas.
On the other hand, some people wonder if GM foods are safe and healthy to eat. Genetic engineering is a relatively new development. As a result, research on the long-term health effects of GM foods is limited. GM foods have to meet the same safety requirements as foods grown from non-GM seeds. Some people worry that GM foods may be linked to allergies , antibiotic resistance, or cancer. Others suggest these concerns are unfounded. Food allergies are a growing problem in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , food allergies in children under 18 years of age have increased; from 3. Some people believe that spike is linked to GM foods. Others raise concerns about the transfer of specific proteins from one plant to another in genetic engineering. Proteins found in a relatively small number of foods cause most allergic reactions.
Tree nuts are one of the most common triggers. In the mids, researchers examined a strain of GM soybean that was engineered to contain protein from Brazil nuts. According to their report in the New England Journal of Medicine , the soybeans triggered allergic reactions in people with Brazil nut allergy. They require GM foods to be tested for their ability to cause allergic reactions. According to the Mayo Clinic , none of the GM foods that are currently on the market have been found to have allergenic effects.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can resist antibiotics, making them hard to kill. According to the CDC , antibiotic-resistant germs infect two million people each year. Those infections kill at least 23, people per year.