Saturday, 20 February 2010

How you think is food modified genetically healthy? For many years sentences are divided in this topic. One think that it doesn't affect our health and other causes cancer. The truth as ever most probably lies between. Other question whether we know when we have appears food modified? For her what merits and demerits are? Whether could we live out this food?

Advantages of genetically engineered foods

GM crops are more productive and have a larger yield.

Offer more nutritional value and better flavor.

A possibility that they could eliminate allergy-causing properties in some foods.

Inbuilt resistance to pests, weeds and disease.

More capable of thriving in regions with poor soil or adverse climates.

More environment friendly as they require less herbicides and pesticides.

Foods are more resistent and stay ripe for longer so they can be shipped long distances or kept on shop shelves for longer periods.

As more GM crops can be grown on relatively small parcels of land, GM crops are an answer to feeding growing world populations.

GM foods are safe. Changing a few genes here and there does not make a crop toxic or dangerous.

The meddling with nature argument made against GM foods doesn't hold water. There are many things that human beings have transformed to serve their purpose.

Scientists can choose which genes to manipulate, but they don't yet know where in the DNA to precisely insert these genes and they have no way of controlling gene expression.

Genes don't work in isolation, changing a few could change the whole picture, with unpredictable and different effects under different circumstances.

It is not correct to tout genetically modified food without evaluating the risks sufficiently. Or at least proving conclusively that there are no risks.

Many GM companies don't label their foods as being GM foods. There is concern about a GM bias affecting business. But not labeling is wrong and unfair to the consumers who should have the right to know what they are buying and indeed to decide whether they want to buy GM food or not. Even if health safety factors are not an issue, some people might have moral or religious objections. They should not have to eat GM food if they don't want to.

GM food will end food diversity if everyone starts growing the same standardized crops.

Herbicide-resistant and pesticide-resistant crops could give rise to super-weeds and super-pests that would need newer, stronger chemicals to destroy them.

GM crops could cross-pollinate with nearby non-GM plants and create ecological problems. If this were to happen with GM foods containing vaccines, antibiotics, contraceptives and so on, it would very well turn into a human health nightmare.

The claim of ending world hunger with GM food is a false claim. World hunger is not caused by shortage of food production, but by sheer mismanagement, and lack of access to food brought about by various social, financial and political causes.

The GM technology companies patent their crops and also engineer crops so that harvested grain germs are incapable of developing. This is not empowering to impoverished Third World farmers, who cannot save seeds for replanting and have to buy expensive seeds from the companies every time. The new technology also interferes with their traditional agricultural ways which may be more suited to their conditions.


While it is evident that there is a food supply issue; the question is whether GM can solve world hunger problems. Several scientists argue that in order to meet the demand for food in the developing world, a second green revolution with increased use of GM crops is needed. Others argue that there is more than enough food in the world and that the hunger crisis is caused by problems in food distribution and politics, not production.]Recently some critics have changed their minds on the issue with respect to the need for additional food supplies.“Genetic modification is analogous to nuclear power: nobody loves it, but climate change has made its adoption imperative,” says economist Paul Collier of Oxford University. "Declining genetic modification makes a complicated issue more complex. Genetic modification offers both faster crop adaptation and a biological, rather than chemical, approach to yield increases."

On the other hand, many believe that GMF’s have not been a success and that we should devote our efforts and money into another solution. “We need biodiversity intensification that works with nature’s nutrient and water cycles, not against them,” says Vandana Shiva. Shiva, the founder of Navdanya, the movement of 500,000 seed keepers and organic farmers in India, argues that GMF’s have not increased yields. Recently, Doug Gurian-Sherman, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, published a report called “Failure to Yield”, in which he stated that in a nearly 20 year record, genetically engineered crops have not increased yields.
Taking a more technical approach, GMF’s help farmers produce, despite the odds or any environmental barriers. “While new technology must be tested before it is commercially released, we should be mindful of the risks of not releasing it at all,” says Per Pinstrup-Andersen professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy at Cornell University. Per Pinstrup-Anderson argues, “Misguided anti-science ideology and failure by governments to prioritize agricultural and rural development in developing countries brought us the food crisis.” He clearly states the challenge we face is not the challenge of whether we have enough resources to produce, but whether we will change our behavior.

Acceptance for GM

Not all consumers are opposed to GM food. Results from quantitative research in Belgium reveal five different consumer segments based on beliefs and attitudes towards GM (food): the Food Neophobics; Enthusiasts; Balancers; Cautious; Green Opponents. Only the Food Neophobics and the Green Opponents, who together make up about 50%, feel reluctant towards GM food. Consumer attitudes from the Balancers, the Cautious and the enthusiasts range from slightly positive to very positive. Each of these segments can be further characterised by: knowledge; general attitudes towards science technology, nature, food, health premium brands purchase intentions of generic and premium branded GM food products; information demand; socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender and education. For effective communication about GM food, all these differences between the consumer segments must be taken into account. This asks for the development of a segmented communication policy.

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  1. Personally I'm against GM foods. Arguments of their adversaries are more convincing. The problem of hunger is rather problem of bad division and wastefulness of food. I can let scientist to research that matter, but only in laboratories. Our nature was evolutioning in millions of years and we should't try to change it in a few years.

  2. I don't find GM food someting bad and evil but I think that producers should inform their shoppers what are they buying and eating. If they did so, everyone would be able to choose if she/he wants to buy such a product or not. Not informing should be in my opinion treated as a crime.

  3. The evolution, which is a natural process of changing organisms' genomes, doesn't technically differ from a work of scientists in laboratories. It's just terribly slow and steps ahead like a blind child, often stops ond goes back. Humans made it more accurate- in opposite to the nature, we know what we want to achieve at the end. Beside that, it's the same. In my opinion GMO shouldn't be treated as a danger, they consist of the identical elements- proteins, carbohydrates etc.- everything that can be digested. I don't understand some people's panic. On the other hand, I agree with Monica, GM products should be specially labeled, so that even those who are still afraid could decide on their own whether to eat GM food or not.

  4. We live in free country and we can do whatever we want. If somebody is willing to try GM food and believes that it don't has negative influence on ours health, we shouldn't impose ours opinon about this. In my opinion we have co many items in shops in very good quality that we needn't looking for another.

  5. GM food is, as we can see, very controversial problem. My knowedge about it isn't probably big enough to say something interesting about it, but I think, that even vegetables, fruits or grains, that are modified are more healthy, that ones, which are treated by many pesticides, herbicides etc. - those substantions, which are generally poisons, are cumulated in plants and, in addition, damage the environment - so they are harmful. Maybe more that GM food?
    However, I absolutely agree with Monika, that information of genetical modification need to be put on labs of such products. Customers should know, what they buy.

  6. GMO followers have a good aim to publicise this kind of plant. They thought and now, I think, they believe, that GMO can solve a problem of starvation in the world, because their crop would be cheaper. For this reason that they will be resistant to immune, insects and acclimate.
    Unfortunately, this stipulation isn’t true. GMO influence badly people, for example in America we can notice more allergies, more cases of morbidity rate, even death.

    I think that GMO can give as more problems as benefits. I think, we can solve a problem without interwention into nature.

  7. One thing is unquestionable - GMO is divisive. I've considered about it. On the one hand GMO seems good solution of starvation on the world, allergy and economical problems. But... But I'm not sure whether GMO is moral...
    If people get plants, animals, all the world to exercise, they should exploit it at the outside. And I find GMO is something more than exploit plants. It's interference, a new creation. But I don't think we use all possibilities of solution of this problems. Maybe we should try less radical methodes?

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  9. Less radical? We live in XXI century!!! In the Middle Ages "scientists" were burning on a pyre, later Koprernik was worring about his life when he was publishing his discovery. Nowadays we are loughing from that, because many of this "heresy" are fundamental knowledge at present. In my opinion the whole, sick confusion around GMO is funny and when I am listing to people who are finding GMO as the next conspiracy theory i feel embarassed. All Biotechnology is a consequence of the science development. I think that humanity already have made a big profit of this branch of biological science. Other thing is that definitely there should be more information in global media, applying various research contain with GMO. I have to admit that I'm studing biotechnology:)

  10. It isn't really suprising that people are scared of GM food. To me being scared of something unkown and new seems to be normal. That's why, when people have to choose between normal and modified food, they pick out the first option. They just don't really understand what being modified means in case of food. Paradoxically, big concerns don't want to inform people about process and level of modification food  because they're scared of detering customers. That is really a vicious circle. Ecologists have their rights but often they also aren't fully aware of real pros and cons that GM food brings. That is why, in my opinion in the present situation what is needed is a large and honest informative campaign about GM food. That will let society choose and express truly their significant opinion about this theme.

  11. I think that before GM foods are sold in the shops they should undergo rigorous tests, so that scientists could eliminate any possiblities of GM food having some unexpected side-effects. I believe that people should be very cautious with such new inventions, because their negative effect on people and the environment might not be visible now, but could be noticed in a few years time. Also even if they will be sold in shops they should always be labeled, so that custumers could make a conscious choice, wheather they want to buy such food or not.

  12. I thing that there is nothing bad in GM food as lond as we have a choice to buy natural food. The problem starts when we have almost every product modifited in shops. Because some people don't mind eating something unhealthy but some of them have. The other thing is that we should know what we eat and every product should have a real information how it was make. A thing that we can worry about is that there is more and more modifited food and just a few people care about that.

  13. Personally I'm against GM food and I'm not surprise that people are afraid of it. They put into this food some substances that makes the food bigger or to grow up faster-it's sure that it isn't good for our health. I understand that is a big problem with hunger in the world, but it is not the best idea to solve this problem with using GM food

  14. I agree with Joanna- using GM food is not any solution for the fight against hunger. Is it better to nourish the people with the harmfull substances? One problem solved, another comes. I believe people using GM technology want to have quick effects, but they don't predict possible damages. I think about amazing visions of future generations (no more natural food, no more nature at all...), presented in many books and films... Someone can say I exaggerate, but if you reflect...

  15. I'm also against gm food. I really don't find it necessary to improve nature. The only beneficient of GM foods are huge coroporations making huge money on their patents. Besides unknown long term influence gives another argument against it. Femine is really a serious problem but i don't think it should be solved with GM food.

  16. My knowlege about GM food is not so big to take some definitive position in this controversial problem.But it is a serious problem. We can't deny that (it is certain)all of us have some contact with this kind of food. In most cases GM food or productes which were made from this food are not properly mark. I don't konw how much GM food is detrimental to one's health but all of us must have a choise if we want eat it. For egzample I my opinion something which is modified genetically can't be healthy so I'm against it.

  17. Generally nobady said that GM food is harmful and that this food cause negative effects, but some scientis think that GM may cause negative effects in future. And it is possible that this kind of foods will caused genetic defects.
    Why it is?
    Because a plants, yields are more efficient. They give more when people work less. You know, it is comfortable because you can have more than in traditional ways.
    In the near future GM food will be in Poland - and we will can see and taste this food.