Without many people knowing it, much of the food available in the supermarkets these days are products of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering involves the transfer or exchange of a particular gene or sets of genes from one type of crop to another in order to improve the quality of the said crop. Genetic engineering may also involve the use of genes for cloning of certain animals used in agriculture. As good as the intentions of these companies may be, the dangers of genetic engineering have yet to be fully established since not much has been elucidated concerning the possible outcomes of this technology.
Disadvantages of GMO – How Serious Is the Threat?
Companies involved in gmo production always stress on the advantages of GMO production as a way of meeting food demand. However, the disadvantages of gmo use are seldomly mentioned and defined. One of the primary reasons behind GMO production is the need to increase agricultural production. GMO manufacturers also believe that newer varieties resulting from GMO technology lead to a decrease in the use of harmful chemicals such as pesticides in crops. However, what they fail to mention is that some disadvantages of gmo production may lead to bigger problems in the future such as the lessened biodiversity as well as contamination between GMO and non-GMO crops. Furthermore, a greater danger of genetic engineering would be the introduction of superbugs into our lives and this certainly poses as a major gmo health risk.
Health Police Should Tackle The Cons of Genetic Engineering
The arguments behind the use of genetic engineering should not be taken lightly. As much as the pros of genetic engineering involve an increase in the production of agricultural products, which may help developing countries in terms of sustainability, the cons of genetic engineering involve problems ranging from environmental issues to potential health hazards. But the more bothersome of the cons of genetic engineering would be issues regarding gmo health risks.
- The introduction of a new gene from one crop to another may involve the introduction of an allergen as well. This would lead to an increase in the number of allergies, which an individual may be susceptible to.
- Antibiotic resistance may develop as antibiotics are oftentimes used in these procedures for gene selection. That is, the gene to be chosen is oftentimes resistant to a particular antibiotic. Therefore, the genes that are introduced into genetically engineered crops carry resistance to antibiotics are then introduced to our systems during our meals. This may result in consumers developing the same kind of resistance as well.
- One major gmo health risk involves the use of growth hormones in farm animals in order to increase their size or in order to increase milk production. The possible carcinogenic effect of such a technique is now being studied by many researchers.
In as much as genetic engineering poses as a solution to many of today’s problems in terms of food supply and demand, many concerns have yet to be addressed. Genetic engineering dangers as well as gmo safety concerns are issues that have to be clearly presented by the companies to the consumers as they will be the ultimate beneficiaries of such a technology.