The ongoing debate for genetic engineering in agriculture has offered a new challenge for biotech engineers and scientists in growing GM sugar beets and releasing it to a wider market. In fact, a recent contamination incident involving gmo sugar beets might have to be the biggest challenge yet that it has to face.
Do You Know This Danger Involved in Genetic Engineering in Agriculture?
Agriculture is one of the most rapid growing industries in the world and has enabled several countries to thrive economically because of its contribution to the food market. Major genetic engineering companies, such as Monsanto, have continually strived to improve agriculture technologies that will ensure a boost in harvest and production to the market. One of the most controversial products is genetic engineering in agriculture that has introduced several GMO crops to the market. However, this was met with a lot of criticism especially as consumers have become aware of its impact to the environment and the health of those that will consume these agricultural products.
The strong opposition on growing GM sugar beets spring from a number of factors, mainly its impact on human health and the environment. Concerns over its impact on the environment result from the possibility that it can cause harm to other organisms. BT toxins are believed to be harmful on other species and it could easily spread during the process of pollination. Another notable environmental danger is the development of immunity of insects on pesticides, which would render it ineffective and thus bring harm on organic and even GMO crops.
When it comes to human health, there concern becomes more prevalent and this is where the fear from the spread of genetically modified plants springs from. Allergic reactions are one of the leading health concerns raised from exposure to GM plants, particularly with children. Many of those that were exposed to genetically modified sugar beets and other crops in the US and Europe developed life-threatening allergies. This caused various countries in South America such as Brazil to ban genetic engineering of crops altogether.
The World’s Nations Oppose GE Sugar Beets
Just recently, there were GMO sugar beets that were uncovered in Oregon in the US and concern over possible contamination of the soil quickly rises within the area. This concern affected not just the sugar beet industry, but also those that were growing non-GMO plants within the area.
The Obama administration recently gave approval to the unregulated growing of GE sugar beets, which naturally created major opposition amongst the community of organic agriculture growers. The main cause of concern is the loss of integrity on organic food supply and the possibility that these GMO crops could cross-pollinate and contaminate nearby organic crops. In fact, there are a lot of movements done in order to repeal that decision and create a tighter law concerning the regulation of genetically engineered plants.
It is not just the environmental activists that have shown opposition against GM sugar beets but also public interest groups, religious organizations, and professional associations. The governments, particularly in the US, are also taking the blame because of lack of proper regulation by enforcing adequate regulatory measures on GM foods.