GMOs and Their Safety
Since the advent of human civilization and the desire to actively domesticate useful animals and plants, there has always been the desire that this plants or animals can be perfected in their desirable traits. Today, the past control of grafting plants has changed to changing their DNA to make them grow faster or even produce seeds. The fear of the unknown and the wide social-cultural perception of the health risks that the use or exposure of GMOs has on human health. GMO use today seeks to create plants or animals with better adaptability, production capacity and desired physical attributes such as large apples or oranges. Through modern research and careful analyses on the use of GMOs, there is indeed measurable uncertainties in the health effects they have. Such effects include the cause of cancer and various diseases. Therefore, this research paper intends to elucidate on the known, speculated and unknown impacts and repercussions of the use of GMOs in human health.
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Where GMO Technology is Applied and its Health Implications
GMO technology has been applied in transgene mutations between related and unrelated organisms referred to as plant or animal transformation. The result in the formation of new organisms with unique features. Some of these modified organisms have found their way into the human diet. For instance, this technology has modified maize plants that have a better survival change in arid areas, plants and animals that grow faster and produce bigger fruits or large meat. Furthermore, some animals, such as the chicken, have been made to grow faster.
However, despite this great strides in the control of nature, man has exposed his health to modifications introduced by consumption or exposure to the same animals or plants. A good example is that modern broilers for meat grow faster than normal, an attribute the pass on to human. Children who have been known to consume meat from this chicken have been known to grow and age faster than normal. They have been known to cause allergic reactions to human beings (such as BT cotton in India).
Moreover, even though the research on this area is still widely ongoing, the research on the health risks from GMOs is highly speculated from observations done in other animals such as rats. For example, they have been known to induce allergic reactions to even foods one was previously un-allergic to, introduction of liver complications, infant mortalities and abnormal growths, complications in human reproduction (sterility), the growth of new forms of benign and malignant cancers and death.
On the other hand, GM foods have been also associated or linked to various toxicities. This toxicities have been known to even selective affect human organs such those associated with the pancreas, renal or liver. This toxicity has been known to even impair the normal functionality of systems such as digestion as is the case with renal toxicity. Some of the effects of this toxicity and health problems have been associated with the ability of GMOs to introduce, in profound and uncontrollable levels, high levels of mutations related to the biochemical, immunologic and hematological aspects of the human body.
Through research, it is now clear some of the above forms of health effects introduced by the GMOs into animal life relies on the ability of marker genes in GMOs to transfer their mutant DNA to humans. This marker genes are the same that give GMOs their intended or desired genetic modifications. This marker genes have been known to cause more than one health complication to human being with newly introduced allergenicity. The marker genes introduced to mutate recombinant viruses and pesticidal agents have been known to increase the variations of these mutations in real time. Thus, it has been known that some villages (in India) fell sick after a nearby cotton plantations was sprayed with a genetically modified pesticide.
The advent and extensive of GMOs and its technology has made GMO food become common in markets all over the world. This has been permitted by FDA in the USA. One health predisposition can be associated with such a widespread use of GMOs. To being with, research has indicated that some of these GMOs may possess a decreased nutritional value. Thus, if in the future such increased use modified food continues to be consumed, humans will find themselves in dire malnutrition ailments. This may affect third world countries where the GMO technology is mostly applied for reliable food security. This is because, in order to avoid malnutrition in an environment where every food is a GMOs nutritional supplements are sought after.
Furthermore, another fundamental health implication that may arise from the use of these modified organisms starts with the observed antibiotic resistance acquired by formally treated bacteria. Such could increase the potency of known human diseases and even make them very deadly. For instance, bacteria in the gut of the human digestive system can acquire this resistance immediately before DNA becomes completely digested. If the bacteria is Amoeba then this could eventually cause death. On the other hand, if the mutant DNA is picked by a parasite in the stomach lining this may make it more potent in resisting common anti-parasite medications. Thus, the eventual result may be severe manifestations sometimes causing malnutrition-like symptoms.
Finally, there is the feared and still incurable cancerous tumors and cells. From the foregoing discussions it is now clear that marker genes and GMO related genes can introduce a number of novel mutations into the environment that have been previously unknown. Just like radioactivity induces cancerous cells within the tissues, these mutations also may lead to the variations in the number of cancer causing agents we know today. Such portfolio of cancer causing agents may even include previously safe foods such as the apple. These agents may even have the potential to cause severe cancers such as malignant tumors whose cancerous cells spread faster throughout the body leading to eminent death.
In summation, it has been seen that GMOs have marker genes that were physically introduced into their DNA footprint go give them their modifications. They have been discussed herein to possess the ability to cause a wide range of human diseases. This include cancer due to an increase in the number of genetic mutations and adoptions of marker DNA, increased disease potency due to acquired resistivity adopted from GMO DNA for bacterial. Furthermore, animals such gut parasites may acquire that same immunity leading to further intestinal complications. Other fundamental health side effects of the use of GMOs have been seen as the risk of malnutrition since modified food has been known to be less nutritious, the introduction of new allergic reactions and increase in food toxicity to human beings. Such a kind of toxicity can alter the normal biochemical functionality of vital organ systems within the human body such as the reproductive and digestive systems. This could also be related to high infant mortality rate or even sterility in severe cases. Practical health effect examples have also been mentioned, for instance, in India where a new form of Bt cotton caused a whole village to fall sick after a Bt pesticide spray.
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