GMOs: Debate and Mandates

Genetically modified (GM) foods are under a constant storm of a well balanced debate. The supporting crowd enlists all the value benefits and harvest abilities derived from GM technology in foods and the opposing clan balances it all with a one liner that long-term health risks of using GMO’s have not yet been proven safe.

With close to 80% Scientists across the continents supporting the GM production and more than 50% public not supporting it, we need a closer look at the GMOs.

In the wake of this lack of unanimity for GM food, currently 64 countries have mandated labeling food for GM and more countries are expected to fall in line. This labeling of GMO products gives freedom of choice for consumers over the non GM products. This labeling usually exempts the GM technology used in flavors, additives and enzymes. This is basic right-to-know issue when a GM crop is on the shelf of super market.

The crops from the traditional breeding maxresdefaulttechniques themselves have long altered genomes. Risk of random mutations and their unexpected inheritable traits are there always. Numerous scientific studies have concluded that the GM crops currently approved in market do not pose any more health risk than conventionally grown crops. Scientists believe that GM science is quite clear than the allegations that it is facing today. Altering DNA either through induced mutations, exposure to radiation is a slower and less precise method to genetic engineering and modification.

Environmental impacts of GM crops are a separate group of topic altogether. There are bans on various pest resistant GM crops that involved a recent ban on the Bt toxin producing Brinjal in India. Possibility of cross contamination which might affect all the organisms surrounding the crop is seen as a threat to environment. Vigilant filtering is required across crops to contain the possible harmful effects of GM produce.

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