There is an increasing amount of controversy about genetically modified foods (GMOs).
However, despite these controversies, genetically modified foods are still found in most foods on the market - and often without labels.
Therefore, it is important that you understand the scientific characteristics behind it.
This article explains what genetically modified foods are and how they affect your health.
What is genetically modified food (GMO)?
GMO stands for "genetically modified organism."
This term is used for genetically modified biotech foods.
Using this genetic modification, scientists can create new varieties with predetermined qualities, such as being resistant to viruses or resistance to pesticides.
In order to understand what this activity is, we need to learn some basic principles of genetics.
Basics of Genetics
Genetics is a genetics and genetic science.
The gene contains instructions for how the creature exists. These instructions are basically code found inside the cells.
The gene will guide the cells to do what, finally, determine what the creature will look like and what attributes it will have. All living things inherit genes from their ancestors, which is why we all look like our parents.
However, genes are not entirely stable. They tend to change and are called .
This is part of the reason why each individual has unique physical characteristics. Genetic codes tend to be slightly different between individuals of the same species.
Summary: The gene contains information about how the creature will look and function. The genes are slightly different between individuals of the same species.
Evolution is a term that describes the changes of creatures over generations.
These changes occur because of genetic mutations among individuals, even for organisms in the same species.
Evolution is often a very slow process, and is determined by the adaptation of organisms to specific environmental conditions.
Here are some simple examples:
Several types of plants are found on an island. The island has a humid climate and these plants must adapt to grow in this humid environment.
Gradually through thousands of years, the climate changed from wet to dry.
Due to the variation of each individual, some plants are more resistant to dry conditions than others
These plants survive while the less drought-tolerant plants die before they can produce seeds.
The end result is a plant population adapted to dry conditions.
This is called and the phrase "strong and weak" comes from here. The most suitable genes to survive with the environment are passed down to the next generation.
Summary: Genetic variation promotes nature's choice. Some individuals have the ability to survive and reproduce, over time they can change an entire species.
Humans have used these natural principles to create many cultivated plants and animals. This is called selective variety.
Breeding is a faster process than evolution. It is based on the selection of individuals with desirable properties and breeding them together.
For example, cows are selectively bred to produce more milk, and apples are chosen to produce larger apples.
With genetic changes, this process is faster and more accurate.
Summary: Breeding involves selecting individuals with desirable properties and breeding them together.
Gene transformation is a technology that allows scientists to change the genetic material of the organism.
This is usually done by transferring a gene from one organism to another, giving them new characteristics.
For example, genetic modification can be used to make plants resist disease or pesticides
Genetic modification can also be used to increase the nutritional value of plants, allowing them to grow faster and taste better. There are countless ways.
Here are some examples of genetically modified food (GMO):
- Corn and soybeans against herbicide: Wu and improved soybeans for herbicide glyphosate tolerance found in Roundup. This allows farmers to spray their fields with herbicides to kill weeds.
- Enough anti-virus swings: In Hawaii, papaya is genetically altered to fight the spotty virus.
- Golden rice: Swiss scientists have developed golden rice - a type of rice that produces beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can convert into vitamin A .
Other plants are genetically altered like rapeseed (used to make canola oil) and cottonseed.
Summary: Genetic modification allows scientists to genetically modify organisms. This technique is more accurate than seed selection and offers endless improvements.
Today GMO foods are very popular
The number of GMO foods on the world market is increasing.
However, it is very difficult to estimate the exact amount of GMO food you consume. That's because these foods are not always labeled GMO.
In the US, GMO foods do not need to be labeled. In Europe, by contrast, all GMO foods must be labeled.
There are very few GMO foods on the European market. These foods are easier to find in the US market.
70-90% of GM crops are used for livestock, and more than 95% of US food-producing animals are fed with GMO feed.
If you eat soy, especially soy products, they can mostly come from genetically modified plants. More than 90% of soybeans are genetically modified .
It should be noted that soybeans, corn and canola are very popular foods in the US market. If you eat processed foods, it is likely that you have eaten some genetically altered foods.
Summary: Genetically modified food (GMO) is generally not labeled when consumed in the US market. Most processed American foods contain soybeans, corn and canola; So if you eat processed food, chances are you're eating some food from genetically modified food.
Controversy around genetically modified food
Genetically modified food has always been a controversial issue.
Everyone's views on GMO food are often based on concepts of morality, religion and philosophy.
Misconceptions of science also often affect user confidence .
However, there are many unanswered questions related to large-scale genetic transformation and GMO agriculture.
Some scientists are concerned about the potential impact and sustainability of the ecological environment. Meanwhile, others believe that genetic modification can bring beneficial effects to the natural environment for larger organisms.
Proponents of genetically modified food also argue that genetic modification is necessary to prevent food scarcity as the world population grows.
However, most people avoid using GM foods because they think these foods are unhealthy.
Summary: Genetic modification is a controversial topic and there are a lot of questions around this problem that have not been answered.
Is GMO food harmful to health?
Genetically modified food cannot be generally healthy or harmful to health.
It depends entirely on genetically modified plants, and needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis .
Some people point out that switching genes from allergenic food crops, such as peanuts, can cause allergies similar to genetically modified foods. Although this is only a possibility, safety testing also prevents the introduction of these products to the consumer market .
It can be said that the risks associated with GMO food are considered low. They outweigh the risks arising from traditional gene handling through selection and propagation .
To date, there is no evidence that GMO food harms humans .
Similarly with animal studies also showed safe GMO food .
However, despite the lack of evidence of resistance to GMO food, the market still has a certain objection and the debate is constantly taking place.
This may be due in part to a lack of trust in biological companies. Part of the reason is that the conflict is always between many scientific studies .
Summary: GMO food itself cannot be generally evaluated as unhealthy or toxic. There is no clear evidence that these foods have a negative impact on human health.
Glyphosate (Roundup) herbicides may be harmful
Although there is no evidence to suggest that GMO food itself is unsafe, we need to consider some surrounding factors.
Several animal studies show that plants are resistant to herbicides when sprayed with herbicides (Monsanto's Roundup herbicide) can cause side effects .
A remarkable study from 2012 shows that transgenic corn that has been sprayed with glyphosate can promote the formation of cancerous tumors in mice.
Researchers have suggested that tumors are the result of the toxic effects of glyphosate or the genetic modification itself .
The results of the study have caused a lot of controversy and debate. In fact, the original documents were recovered, but they were published in a magazine in the same year .
Several other animal studies and in vitro experiments have found adverse signs when testing genetically modified corn and soybeans with glyphosate spray.
These studies show that a small amount of herbicides may be harmful, not because of inheritance itself .
Summary: While GMO food itself is not classified as unhealthy, some related factors may cause side effects. Herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) is sprayed on some GMO plants that can be harmful to health.
Messages to note
Evidence available indicates that GMO foods are not harmful to human health.
However, the health effects of glyphosate spraying on GMO food remain controversial.
Moreover, there is no clear evidence that genetic modification itself makes food unhealthy or toxic