1. Definition of Genetically modified foods (GM)
Genetic engineering is a science that alters the natural occurrence of genes. It selects the favoured genes and transfers them from one organism to another. GM foods are based on plants and on some kinds of meat too.
GM foods help create foods with lower costs, long durability and higher nutritional values.
Potential risks on human health:
The safety assessment of GM foods generally investigates:
1- Direct health effects (toxicity)
2- Tendencies to provoke allergic reaction (allergy)
3- Specific components thought to have nutritional or toxic properties
4- The stability of the inserted gene
5- Nutritional effects associated with genetic modification
6- Any unintended effects which could result from the gene insertion.
2. Current GM foods on the international market
All GM crops available on the international market today have been designed using one of three basic traits:
resistance to insect damage
resistance to viral infections
tolerance towards certain herbicides
3. The future of GMs
The future of GM promises plants with improved disease or drought resistance, crops with increased nutrient levels, fish species with enhanced growth characteristics and plants or animals producing pharmaceutically important proteins such as vaccines.
4. Harmful effects of GM foods
• Food allergy
• High toxicity
• Decreased Nutritional Value
• Antibiotic resistance
5- How to avoid GM foods?
Purchase organic foods or foods labelled as “non-GMO” (Genetically-modified organisms)
Focus the diet on fruits and vegetables as most of these foods are not genetically modified
Buy free-range meats and wild-caught fish
Use the website responsibletechnology.org for more information on GMOs
Carry a non-GMO shopping guide to know which companies are avoiding GMOs in their products and which ones do use GMOs. This information can be obtained from the site above.
Let your legislators know this issue is important to you and your health and it can no longer be ignored.
6- List of GM foods includes:
Corn • Soy
Canola • Cotton (cotton-seed oil)
Hawaiian papaya • Zucchini