The controversy on GE foods does not seem to bother its producers because they are continually releasing these products into the market. Meanwhile, in countries wherein GMO food is not yet legally approved, they are pushing for deregulation to ensure that genetically modified food become available to as many people as possible and become widely accepted.
The developers of genetically modified organisms into the market cited crop protection as their main objective for producing GMO food. Indeed, farmers were having trouble with various insects, viruses, and bacteria attacking their crops that lower their yield. In an effort to address this problem, crops are injected with a type of gene that offered them resistance to the main causes of damage to crops. With this new level of resistance, there is also no need for farmers to invest on herbicides that can cost a great deal of money in the long run.
However, there were some problems that developed over the years that some genetic engineers were unable to predict. For instance, some of the viruses and insects that attack crops developed immunity to the resistance gene and therefore render them useless. In addition, the cited drawbacks and other side effects from this gene injection to the plants, especially when consumed by humans, are what are keeping some nations from giving them approval.
Are There Continued Developments in Genetically Modified Food?
Despite all controversies, GM foods had survived and will continue to. In fact, it is believed that further research studies are being conducted in an effort to create more developments in this field. According to critics of genetic engineering though, most of the research studies and the evidences presented were a bit exaggerated or one-sided to make GMO seem more beneficial or to cover up for any of its drawbacks.
This makes it really difficult for consumers to make an objective decision basing on the information that are provided for them. With a barrage of conflicting information, it also becomes difficult to make a choice that would be beneficial for them and their families, especially concerning their health and other potential risks.
What Are Some Examples of Genetic Engineering and GE Foods?
A lot of people, despite all of the resistance to GE foods, are unaware what genetic engineering is. It is therefore important to look at common examples of genetic engineering to better understand how it works and why it is widely opposed.
Transgenic plants are the most common types of genetic engineering in crops wherein a gene is introduced into an organism. The recipient is called transgenic and in the case of GMO, that gene is known as BT. This helps to protect the plant or crop from insects that could cause damage and reduce yield. There is now a wide range of GE foods available in the market including fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, wheat, cotton, rice, to name a few.
The most breakthrough examples of genetic engineering are those that involved actual living organisms, such as animals. Indeed, it is not just genetically engineered crops that are stirring controversy these days, but also animals wherein their genetic composition is modified to facilitate in speedy maturation and produce more food supply. Some of animals commonly used for genetic engineering include livestock and fish.