There are several debates and discussions on GM foods, especially amongst those who are new to this concept. GMO food is making headlines nearly every day and there are ongoing debates about whether it is safe to consume or not. In order to have a stand on this issue, it is important to know first what it is and what are the possible implications with exposure to this food products.
The acronym GMO literally means genetically modified organism, which could mean plants, microorganisms, or animals. The idea here is to use molecular genetics techniques to alter the DNA composition of a living organism for a number of reasons. The most common reason for genetically modified plants is to enhance their growth and boost its nutritional value. At the same time, it is meant to increase resistance to pests that can cause damage to the crops.
The main concern over genetic engineering in crops and various plants arise from the potential danger to humans and other plant species. For instance, non-target insects could be harmed by injection of pesticides to the GE crops. Also, many scientists believe that insects develop immunity over these pesticides over time, rendering the process of genetic altering to be ineffective. Bioethical issues are also another concern because there are several questions regarding the ownership of harvested crops.
Will GE Crops Have Implications on the Rights of Farmers to Own Their Seed?
One of the biggest concerns with the widespread of GE crops in the agricultural industry is its bigger impact on the rights of farmers. When talking about genetically modified food in debate, the topic on farmers’ intellectual property rights is something that will never be missed. Intellectual property right and the patent obligations stated in the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS agreement is an important component on GMO discussions. The further availability of genetically engineered food has resulted in several impactful consequences to the entire agricultural industry.
Just like what the World Health Organization had done with the use of gene technology in medicine, they are also currently reviewing the concept of intellectual property rights and sharing of benefits for all genetic resources in the industry. During the review, it raised several possibilities of monopolization and patent regulations. This will therefore result in several more years of debate concerning GM foods.
GE Soy – Is It Down Right Dangerous?
Soy used to be considered as a health food staple but the spread of GE soy has also raised a lot of suspicion about its potential impact on the health in the long run. Indeed, soy beans belong to many GE crops that are genetically engineered wherein many unknowing consumers have been exposed to potential health risks.
The public debate on GE soybean started in 1996 when Monsanto confirmed that these crops shown resistance to Round-Up, their famous herbicide product. Several findings on samples of these GE foods have shown that it is unsafe for human consumption and possibility of suffering from side effects with exposure to toxic materials. More research studies are being conducted to provide further evidence on the potential health risks of genetically engineered soy products to warn consumers.