Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

GMOs are organisms that have altered genetic material, and this genetic alteration does not occur naturally.

Modern biotechnology allows selected individual genes to be transfered from one organism to another even between nonrelated species.

The food that is produced using GMOs are referred to as Genetically Modified Food.

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Food, genetically modified

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The Production of Genetically Modified Food

The main objective of developing plants that have GMOs is to improve crop protection. Genetically modified crops have a higher resistance against plant diseases that come from insects, viruses, or herbicides.

Moreover, in terms of durability and nutritional value genetically modified foods have perceived advantages to both the producer and the consumer.

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Assessing The Safety of GM foods

To assess the safety of genetically modified foods, they focus on the following:

  1. Direct health effects
  2. Potential to provoke allergies
  3. Nutritional components
  4. The stability of the inserted gene
  5. Nutritional effects that are associated with genetic modification; and
  6. Any unintended effects that could have resulted from the gene altercation

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Main Issues Concerning Human Health
  1. Allergenicity - the protocols for testing of genetically modified foods are evaluated thoroughly by the FAO and the WHO. No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.
  2. Gene transfer - the tranferability of the genes from GM food to the cells of the body is low, but the use of gene transfer technology that doesn't involve antibiotic resistance is is encouraged.
  3. Outcrossing - this is the process where genes from GM plants migrate to conventional crops. Strategies have been created to reduce the possibility of this from happening.

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Genetically Modified Foods Are Safe

The genetically modified foods that are available on the international market have passed the necessary safety assessments and are not likely to present any type of risk for our health.

Rest assured that the safety assessment of GM foods is a continuous and ongoing process based on the Codex Alimentarius

Genetically modified crops on the international market have higher nutrient content and have the following traits: insect-damage resistant, viral infections resistant, and higher tolerance towards certain herbicides.

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Further Developments for GMOs

Moving forward, the future of genetically modified organisms will include plants with improved resistance against: plant disease and drought.

Moreover these crops will have increased nutrient levels, fish species will have enhanced growth characteristics.

For non-food usage, these plants or animals can be used to produce important proteins for new vaccines.

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