Genetically modified foods have been around since the 1990’s, it started out small but towards and after 2006 it was practiced in a lot of countries. So far different people have different opinions on genetically modified food where some are in favor of it while others against it.
Organic farming groups and activists have been concerned about what genetically modified foods mean for our health and the organic market. Even though there has been little evidence of an effect of GM food, we are still unaware of what the long-term effects will be.
As mentioned earlier peoples opinion on genetically modified food is still ambivalent. Numerous studies have been conducted to ascertain the effect of GM food on human health and the results are still in the preliminary stages. The recent high increase of use in genetically modified products has triggered a rise in public interest for information concerning the safety of the products. Genetically modified food has different effects on people’s health, and this article will expound on that.
GMF (Genetically Modified Food) toxicity
After the introduction of genetically altered food a few decades ago some people independently reported toxic effects caused by GMFs. Such allegations stated that the continued consumption of genetically modified foods causes multiple organ failure in the body. They also claimed that the process of making the genetically altered food caused it to be toxic, therefore, all genetically modified foods were scientists all over the world embarked to high risk for toxicity.
To date, many numerous different types of modifications in various crops have been tested, and no evidence that GMFs cause organ toxicity or other adverse health effects have been found in the studies. This has helped put the fears of toxicity to ease as scientific analysis pull back up GMFs.
GMFs and their effect on your offspring
Scientists might have been able to demonstrate that GMFs are not toxic to the animals that consume them, but testing time is a different situation. Testing whether genetically altered foods affect the reproduction or if side effects can be passed from one to another generation is of utmost importance. Numerous studies have been conducted from different countries where different animals such as rats and guinea pigs were used. The study’s objective was to address buildup of toxicity over time and the effect on the embryo. Different generations were tested and the results did not show any transmission of toxicity over generations.
GMFs and your genes
A lot of people have been concerned about consuming genetically altered foods, and most importantly if it can affect or change their genes. These concerns are surrounded by the idea that genetically modified DNA would be unstable causing adverse effects to both the crop and whoever consumes it. It is commonly known that mutations in DNA are linked to cancer and other diseases, therefore. Mutagenic substances can have dire effects on human health.
A research group from the National Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering in Beijing, China experimented on crops such as tomatoes and corn as well as test animals to directly test the ability of a GMF to cause mutation. They repeated their analysis using different methods for analyzing mutagenicity and got the same results. The safely concluded that that genetically altered DNA did not increase mutations in consumers.
Other Research Carried Out By Scientists Clearly Show That Gmfs May Be Harmful To Our Health
Such research claims that continuous use of genetically modified foods is not looking good for our health. An analysis states that based on human and animal studies, genetically modified foods affect our immune system in the following ways.
- There may be an inappropriate immune response to the food we eat if it is GM food. The study further indicates that our body’s immune system usually ‘tolerates’ foreign objects –as with the food we eat. But for genetically modified foods it’s a different situation. For GM foods the immune system will launch an attack when it is ingested.
- When genes used in GM kidney beans were transferred to peas, harmful consequences occurred. There was an increased immune response because genes could be mutated, truncated, be read differently or rearranged. This type of immune response is attributed to diseases such as allergies, asthma, lupus, chemical sensitivities and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- These studies also state that research funded by the UK government resulted in findings that indicated a possibility that GM genes to the consumers gut bacteria or even DNA. This finding was observed in the only human study conducted.
- With herbicide-tolerant GM crops, there is an increase in herbicide residues which have antibacterial properties. The symptoms of exposure include asthma and an increased risk of miscarriage, ADD, Parkinson’s, eye irritation, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nausea, and skin rashes.
- Another finding is that GM foods may affect capacity, and this will be possible through altered gut bacteria and reduced digestive enzymes. Such a situation allows more time for the immune system to react.
- There may be an increased risk of carcinogens, anti-nutrients, new allergens and a rise in existing allergies resulting from alteration in plant DNA composition.
Scientists have speculated that increased consumption of GM food in respective countries will lead to a rise in infertility, low birth weight babies and other reproductive ailments. Well-known biologists like Dr. Pushpa M. Bhargave believe that the increase in diseases and disorders affecting many developed countries is due to GM foods.
Also despite the continued increase in the use of genetically altered foods. The global scientific community continues to express that there is not enough data that suggest GM food are safe for human consumption. They state that more research and testing is needed to understand GMOs fully.
Genetically modified foods taste better, have increased nutrients, are resistant to diseases and pests, and are faster output crops. Genetically modified animals also have specific genes inserted into their genomes to produce better products, all these make GM food fruitful. But no one is sure what will happen to human health when these genetically altered food are consumed, so far the evidence is mounting against genetically modified foods.
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