May 10, 2011

Genetically Modified Foods-Should we be alarmed?

 I went to a recent lecture on an additive to make you live longer. The speaker focused on the threat of Genetically Modified(GM) foods corrupting the food supply of the Americas and the world.

Genetically modified foods I guess have been around for centuries. Gregor Mendel the monk that pioneered many early genetic philosophies was perhaps an early tinkerer with GM foods

Here's a great essay by a local student on her views of GM foods

Fear of the unknown makes one's imagination run wild, like when a child hops into bed at night and slowly starts to drift off to sleep and suddenly a "thud" comes from the inside the closet. The child quivers under the blanket the rest of the night, afraid that a monster will jump out.

This reaction is similar to that of the public to genetically modified foods. These are crops in which the genetics have been altered to contain a more desirable gene from another crop to express the desired trait.

People know the process of growing food is changing, and they fear it. There are no monsters in the closet, and if the public would look, it would see that there are many reasons to not be afraid of genetically modified foods.

Such foods have been proved safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has guidelines for evaluating food. The agency checks the final product and the way it was created and ensures that it has a normal amount of nutrients and that there are no possibilities for allergic

The safety standards of traditional foods and genetically modified foods are the same.

There are also many benefits to having crops with altered genetics, such as resistance to herbicides, increased yields and improved nutrition. Research is being done to create crops that are resistant to diseases.

A particularly beneficial change would be in wheat. Wheat, a staple of our diet, is susceptible to fungal diseases such as fusarium head blight. This is not only dangerous to the success of the yield, but some forms produce toxins. If ingested, they can cause nausea and vomiting, and can even lead to chronic and acute diseases.

Unfortunately, because of public skepticism of the production of genetically modified wheat, none is being grown — slowing the process of preventing this toxic fungal disease in wheat.

Many people are not aware that genetically modified foods have been in stores for almost two decades. Corn, tomatoes and soybeans have been consumed by the public for years. In fact, in 2007, more than half the world's soybeans were genetically modified, and there has yet to be any negative effects reported.

The naysayers argue that the claims of genetically modified foods' increased quantities and quality are untrue, and that consuming them is dangerous in the long run. In particular, they question the crops' ability to produce higher yields. Data have shown that the yield of maize in Spain has increased by 11.8 percent because of genetic modification.

Some opponents also say that the genetically modified food manufacturers' confidence in their products is comparable to that of cigarette companies, which, for 50 years, claimed that their products were harmless. They fail to mention that there are physical effects from smoking, but no known ill effects from eating genetically modified foods.

Like any innovation in science, there will always be opposition, but what needs to be extinguished is the fear of these foods.

This is achieved by educating with facts, not speculation.

So before you fear the monsters in the closet, check inside; it could just be the friendly house cat trying to get out.

Lindsay Kozachuk, 18, of Oviedo, is studying psychology at the University of Central Florida.
Editorial in Orlando Sentinel 4/30/11 

Conservastore is conflicted on GM foods. Most experts say that GM foods are needed as the world population grows. GM foods have been around for many years and the negative effects have been limited so far. Europe seems to be the most opposed to GM foods but the Americas have been more receptive.
Monsanto is usually the large corporate evil doer according to GM complainers.

Conservastore has always valued a more sustainable approach to population growth.
If there was some way to arrest the growth of world population then excessive practices, which GM foods may be, in order to grow enough food for the world would be required less.

Until the world population is at least slowed we feel GM foods are only one of many modalities the human race will need to feed itself in the next century. is always here 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lindsay,

    At 18 you need to know that not everyone tells the truth.

    When people talk of GMO foods they are in fact talking of killing people.

    In much GMO food there are in every molecule possibly E Coli which by gene jumping can turn up in your gut or in another plant.

    With thousands sick and dozens dead in Germany you need to be very sure GMO is safe as you are led to believe.

    Do you know about Bt Toxin, E Coli, Paul Berg, the Asilomar Conference and GMO trytphan deaths.

    And this is just the start.

    E coli produces vitamins and is essential for humans.

    Ten years into its use for GMO food it turned up in a deadly form. Strange that after 4 billion years in harmony with life?

    And the death is by BLEEDING to death.

    Not a nice way to go.

    But at least you wont need expensive medications to stay alive.

    Provided by companies that GMO your food.

    Strange that.