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Genetically Modified Foods


GMO (transgenic organisms) are genetically modified plants and animals that did not exist before in nature. A human receives them by the correction of the genetic code. In the DNA of the modified object, a fragment of DNA of another organism (sometimes of very distant origin) is integrated, whereby the object acquires new properties e.g., resistance to pesticides, the ability to repel insects pests possibility of long-term storage of fruit (Lang) At the same time, genetic engineering would allow and increase shelf life and to keep the flavor. The first transgenic products were created by the North American company Monsanto. Today, it is widely spread throughout the world. For example, more than half of the soybean grown in the world is genetically modified. Hybridization within genetic modification technology can occur not only with other plants but also with micro-organisms, viruses, animals and even human. For example, the cold-resistant tomato was produced by inserting a gene of North American plaice into the DNA of a tomato, and to create wheat varieties resistant to drought, scorpion gene was used (Lang). This way of the selection development has its own loyal supporters and fierce opponents, but there are no studies generally accepted by the scientific community as a proof of danger or, on the contrary, GM foods are safe for a human and ecological system of the Earth. In support of one or the other point of view, various arguments are put forward and the results of experiments are provided, the accuracy of which is contested by the other party. This paper will argue that GM foods is safe to use and bring benefit to humanity.

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Benefits of Genetically Modified Foods

The issue of genetically modified foods is controversial in society, but in the scientific world community, there is much more consensus on this issue. Genetically modified foods are the foods derived from genetically modified organisms - plants, animals or microorganisms. Products obtained using genetically modified organisms or which include at least one component obtained from products containing GMO may also be considered genetically modified. It depends on the country's legislation. GMO get some new properties due to the transfer of genes into the genome of the individual, theoretically from any organism (in the case of transgenesis) or from the genome of related species (tsisgenez) (Lang).

The Opportunity to Solve the Hunger Problem

The first argument in favor of genetically modified organisms is that they will help solve the problem of food on the Earth. The problem of hunger is still acute. Even in modern seemingly quite good times, in the world, there are places where people die every day from hunger. For the most part, it refers to the African countries. GMOs is only the salvation of mankind from hunger. Scientists predict the Earth's population to 2050 could reach 9-11 billion (Mphil, Antoniou and Fagan). Naturally, there is a need for doubling or even tripling of the world's agricultural production. To feed hungry states using traditional farming products will require to cut down near 70% of the forests (Mphil, Antoniou and Fagan). GMO high yield, compared to conventional plant breeding, can significantly reduce the price of products.

From this perspective, a genetically modified plant variety is a great opportunity. GMO proponents say that using this technology it is possible to deduce such plants, which would be able to grow in African deserts and avoid various plant diseases inherent to those areas. The main argument in favor of this position is the fact that the very characteristics of vegetables, fruits, cereals, engineers improved. Genetically modified foods are more resistant to all kinds of viruses and bacteria. They are stored for longer. In addition, these products can be sustained to cold and heat, and salty soils. The objective of genetic techniques applied to the animal is usually accelerated and increased growth. Cows with an increased fat content in milk and salmon which is growing rapidly and does not need to migrate from seawater to freshwater were obtained (Mphil, Antoniou and Fagan). It is possible to provide these kinds of genetically modified farm animals, which will give a lot of products, will not be demanding food and resistant to diseases.

Impact on Human Health

The main argument in speeches against GMOs is the danger of integration of transgenes into human own genes. However, consuming foods that are genetically modified or contain such components, one must understand that like all food components, the new genetic material and new proteins that fall into the human digestive system is chemically decomposed into elementary units (monomers) - nucleotides and amino acids. They are universal for all living things. Only in this form, foods are absorbed from the intestine into the blood, which before passing through the body carries all digestion products to the liver, where they are converted to a usable condition for the body or are transferred to a non-toxic form and output. It is reasonable to note that even if some piece of foreign DNA falls into the human blood stream, there is no way that genetic information will be embed. Naturally, there are cases of the embedding of pieces of genome into heterologous. For example, some bacteria genetics thus spoil flies. However, such phenomena are not described in the higher animals. In addition, there is different genetic information in all other products without any GMOs. If they are not built in human genetic material, then human might safely consume everything that the body can digest and assimilate (Mahgoub).

The detrimental effects of transgenic products on the human body has not yet been identified. Doctors seriously considered genetically modified products as a basis for special diets. Diet occupies not the last place in the treatment and prevention of diseases. Scientists claim genetically modified products will enable people with diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and oncological diseases, diseases of the liver and intestines to expand the diet. For example, use of curry not only increases the production of insulin in the blood but also reduces the production of glucose in the body. If one use curry gene for medical purposes, the pharmacists will receive additional medication for the treatment of diabetes, and patients will be able to use sweets (Mahgoub).

In genetically modified products, a number of vitamins and nutrients (eg, already invented rice, contains a sufficiently large amount of the iron and vitamin A) can be implanted in the laboratory. This will allow not only avoid vitamin deficiency but also to cure a number of diseases caused by a shortage of any trace in the body. In addition, software has been developed that may include drugs and vaccines against certain diseases.

GMO-containing products are tested for allergenicity, while traditional culture is not derived. The transfer of genes, which are considered as the main threat of GMOs, according to WHO experts, is dangerous only when using antibiotic resistance genes. Therefore, technology without the use of such genes is encouraged. Potentially dangerous mixing of genetic modification of forage crops with food acreage is limited by delineating these types of crops.

High Governmental Control

Before the release of GMOs on the market, each takes about 9,000 samples. This process lasts not few days, but 10-15 years. The products of conventional breeding are much easier and freer placed on the market. When talking about GMOs, each new product is subjected to an unprecedented security check. The new food is tested in all modern methods of different regulatory authorities before it gets an opportunity to enter the market. The US approval of genetically modified products on the market is regulated by three federal agencies: Department of Agriculture 's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As carefully as GMO, only supplements are checked (Key, Ma and Drake).

First, manufacturer explores products. Then, it goes to the body that is responsible for food safety. It can be imagined as a grid with all decreasing cells, which sifts through all possible omissions of developers. The consumer gets a completely safe product. Thus, negligence can not occur here. If genetic manipulation is carried out under the supervision of the authorities, such products can be considered completely safe. Introducing changes in the genetic code of the plant or the animal, scientists do the same thing that makes nature itself. Absolutely all living organisms from bacteria to man are the result of mutation and natural selection. However, if the nature of the formation of new species requires the millennium, the scientists suggest making this process in a few years (Key, Ma and Drake). The principal difference is not the issue in the experiment. There are many nuances of agricultural technologies that must be followed if one are growing GMO culture. Of course, if the government chooses a course on organic production for the domestic rural industry, a human would not feel any significant changes. They just do not compare. The use of new technologies, progress is perspective and contributes to the development of science in general. Scientists believe that new technologies must not to be afraid of and to avoid due to the elementary ignorance. The same pesticide handling, well-made, is not dangerous. In addition, on an industrial scale, agriculture without chemicals is impossible.

Benefit for Environment

The use of GMOs is not only to increase productivity. The indirect impact on the environment is also very important. It is possible to talk about such things as the reduction in diesel fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, reduced pesticide consumption. This influence is immense. For the cultivation of GMO plants, much fewer pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides required (sometimes, they are not required at all), than for the cultivation of traditional plants. At that time, as the GMOs harm, it is not proved, the consequences of the use of aggressive chemicals are seen today. For plants obtained by the transgenic way, conventional herbicides might be replaced by less toxic which will not accept and store. Usual chemicals used intensively accumulate in the environment, poisoning not only yield but also the air and water for decades (McGrath). Moreover, in defense of GMO, genetics can provide research facts that say not that of safety, and even the use of such products. The WHO says, research on the negative impact of traditionally selected crops cultivated with potentially dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, growth stimulants, is significantly less than the study of the negative impact of the genetic modification crops (McGrath). Thereby, it is possible to reduce or even completely eliminate the use of chemicals in agriculture.

A disadvantage of these products is only one - the new technology and the fear of the unknown. There is mythical fear that GMOs provoke the problem of the disappearance of species diversity. Any GMO culture is a cultivated plant. With good intentions, it would not be able to win the territory of pace weed. It needs constant sensitive care. That is, the seeds obtained from the harvest of GMO culture is inappropriate and meaningless to reuse (McGrath). Usually, they just do not germinate. Industrial agriculture involves the use of a special source of seed.

Fast Pace of Development

Today, there are hundreds of genetically modified foods. For several years, modified products are consumed by millions of people in most countries of the world. Transgenes are found in products which contain soy protein. Most countries import soy from countries where the cultivation of genetically-modified soy is allowed for a long time. In America and Canada, in fact, there are no more traditional varieties, they are all made on the genetic level. Every year, country buys about 400 thousand tons of genetically modified soy protein (McGrath). Thus, the fact is that the future depends on genetic engineering. This area is progressing at exponential rates. Now, it came to breeding. Laboratory prototypes GM rabbits, goats, which synthesize human lactoferrin (a protein found in breast milk and necessary for children) are modern scientific work. Benefits of GM bacteria are not taken to challenge even by opponents of GMOs (McGrath). These are antibiotics, insulin, something without which it is impossible to do anything today and that there is no worthy replacement.


Genetic engineering is able to provide real help in solving the problems of food and health issues. They are resistant to disease and weather, mature faster and longer stored, and are able to produce their own insecticides against pests. GMO-plants are able to grow and produce a good crop, where old varieties simply could not survive due to certain weather conditions. Proper use of its methods will become a solid foundation for the future of humanity. GMO foods are created with a set of desired qualities. Humanity is able to solve many problems such as lack of vitamins, proteins, the high allergenicity of foods, high fat content or even different composition of fat with the help of GMO foods.

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