Human health is not achievable unless adequate amounts of nutritious and safe foods are available and accessible during all life stages. Transgenic modification, traditional and modern, applied to plants and animal food sources hold potential for improving human nutrition and health. Consumers in developed countries have access to a supply of safe and healthy food. In contrast, micronutrient malnutrition is widespread in poor countries, affecting more than half of the population in the developing world. The sustainable solution to malnutrition in developing countries is rovision of a sufficient quantity of high quality diet.
This can only be achieved through the growth and distribution of genetically modified food. People in many Third World countries rely on a single crop such as rice for the main staple of their diet. However, rice does not contain adequate amounts of all necessary nutrients to prevent malnutrition. If rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies could be alleviated. For example, blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences have created a strain of “golden” rice containing an unusually high content of beta-carotene (vitamin A). Since this rice was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a non-profit organization, the Institute hopes to offer the golden rice seed free to any third world country that requests it. Plans were underway to develop a golden rice that also has increased iron content. However, the grant that funded the creation of these two rice strains was not renewed, perhaps because of the vigorous anti-GM food protesting in Europe.
It is not only health conditions in Third World countries that can be improved by the use of GMOs. Anemia, for example, affects 56 percent of pregnant women worldwide. Anemic women face higher infant mortality rates, and their babies have lower birth rates and are more likely to be born prematurely. According to a World Bank report, deficiencies of Just vitamin A, iodine, and iron can result in total economic losses as high as 5 percent of gross domestic product. Food can now be fortified with iron and vitamin A through genetic modification. There is absolutely no argument to be made against GMOs in regards to health. The
American Association for the Advancement of Science said that “consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques. ” The U. S. National Academy of Sciences found that “no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population,” and a report issued by the European Commission made the same claim. The World Health Organization has concluded that GM foods “are not Genetically modified foods also have an effect on the economy of developing ountries.
In many low-income countries, food budgets account for more than two thirds of total expenditures. Developments in agricultural biotechnology are being used to increase the productivity of crops, primarily by reducing the costs of production. These new crop varieties include insect resistance, herbicide resistance, and delayed fruit ripening. GMF crops could decrease the cost of production and have positive effects on the environment in both developed and developing countries. The development of crops resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses is critical for sustainable food production in the developing world.