Disadvantages of Genetic Modification Foods Essay

Disadvantages of genetic modification foods Genetically modified foods are a new kind of food which has been recognized as another food crisis such as mad cow disease in Britain (Sorensen, 1999). Since genetically modified foods are becoming more common there is a conflict around the globe to the use of them (Alarie, 2000, p. 19). Moreover, there is certain evidence that has been proven the natural process of genetic modification is unsafe and can cause particular health risks (Smith, 2009, p. 18).

Therefore, genetically modified has to remove from agricultural products because of the dangers to human health, environmental health, and human ethic. The first serious danger of genetically modified foods is to human health because it causes allergic reactions and unpredictable results in gene transfer. Hanly says, “For example, people who are allergic to nuts might have an extremely allergic reaction to a GM food that contains a gene from nuts. The solution to this problem is proper labeling, warning, and caution” as cited in (Howard, 2000, p. ). Also this is not only consumers who concern about potential food allergens, food industry is extremely concerned about allergic reactions to their products too, because they want their products to be accept and appreciate by producers. Therefore, Health Canada is responsible for assessment of these potential risks to human health and would require clear labeling if there is any health or safety concern related to allergens. (Williams,2005, p. 187)Furthermore, transferring a gene from species to another may have some effects.

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Hanly proves in his website that genetic modification builds artificial DNA that are contain various collection of genes from pathogenic bacteria which cause disease ,viruses ,and other genetic parasites (Howard, 2000, p. 5). Thus, there are a lot of potential such as allergens, toxins, and new diseases which mentioned by the scientists at the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (Smith, 2009, p. 18) The dangers of genetically modified foods in the area of environmental health are not less severe. Scientists have genetically modified sweet corn which can produce poison to kill harmful insects.

Bt which stands for Bacillus thuringiensis is a type of bacteria which produces proteins that are active against insects (Weaver and Morris, 2005, p. 159). Therefore, if insect pests become resistant to the Bt protein, then more toxin may be produce by GM crops. “GM crops containing biocides (e. g. Bt toxin) harm beneficial insects, and leave residues deep in the soil which can selectively encourage resistance among predator species” (GM foods and plants threaten human and ecosystem health, 2006, p 36).

It is now known that some bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant, making it difficult to treat diseases such as tuberculosis. Thus, this could increase harmful effects on soil and water drain away. Human ethics is another possible disadvantage of using genetically modified foods. Depending on the region of the world, people have different attitudes to food . In addition to nutritional value food has societal and religious importance. As discussed above because genetic engineering is thought to be a new technology some people think scientists are playing god and people trust on their experiments .

However the results so far shows that Genetic engineering disrupts the balance of nature and harm life, especially when there is clear evidence to prove this. Therefore, people must realize the obvious risks on human and environment health and they should resist with scientific abilities. Current estimates suggest that fully 60% of products in Canada’s grocery stores have GM ingredients. That means children and grandchildren are growing up on them. (The danger of genetic modification, 2006, p. 6) People do not have to let industry decide for them what they can eat, or let the industry to take the complete control of food quality, food safety, and environmental protection. (Alarie, 2000, p, 19) Thus, people have to urge Canadian government to be responsible about all the scientific evidence that is related to GM organism. In conclusion, scientists need more and better testing methods before making genetically modified foods for human consumption, because GM foods a new invention could prove the risks to human health or the world’s ecosystems.

Evidence that has been discussed in earlier explains how GM foods could cause new allergies for human and contain toxins that may be harmful for environment. Furthermore, the whole issue of the disadvantages of genetically modified foods would be because they are not labeled in Canada yet. Therefore, in some special cases, if a new genetically altered food causes a health risk such as potential for allergic reaction then the food has to be labeled (Pros and Cons of Biotech Food, 2000).


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