Insight into the Genetically Modified Foods: from the Concerns of Safety to Food Development (Part I)

Science Insights, 30 September 2016
Volume 2016
Doi: 10.15354/si.16.vi010
 
Analysis
Insight into the Genetically Modified Foods: from the Concerns of Safety to Food Development (Part I)
Steve Chow, PhD*; Julian F. Norris, PhD*; Benjamin G. Bilder, PhD*
 
Author Affiliations
*: Division of Medicine and Public Health (DMPH), The BASE, Chapel Hill, NC 27510, USA
∆: Correspondence to: Dr. Benjamin G. Bilder, PhD, Email: bgbilder@basehq.org

ABSTRACT


Genetic engineering is the name of a process in which we add new DNA to an organism manually. The primary purpose is to add some features that are not present in the particular organism. We know that genetically modified crops can help increase the production, and food accessibility can increase multiple folds. There is a scientific concord that genetically manufactured foods presently available in the market are not harmful and are safe to be consumed. They not only increase the food production but also help in increasing the nutritional content. Although there are benefits of genetically modified foods, this technology faces a lot of controversies. Critics include consumer and health groups, importers of grain from European countries, organic farmers, scientists and environmentalists, religious groups, food advocacy groups and ethicists, politicians and traders. Some fears associated are alteration in nutritional quality of food, toxicity, antibiotic resistance, allergy and carcinogenicity. Other concerns are environmental pollution; transfer of genes to plants unintentionally, development of some viruses and toxins, some ethical as well as cultural concerns and fear of the unknown. Supporters of genetic technology are private industrialists, research scientists, a portion of users and farmers and the regulatory authorities.

KeywordsGenetic engineering; Foods; Population health; Toxicity; Genetic pollution