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There is obviously a lot of controversy surrounding genetically modified food. Curious as to some of your opinions! I really hadn't studied much up on it, and came across an article which mentioned it. My nutrition professor is very lovely, but it is really had to pull definite answers out of her, she doesn't seem to want to take a stand on certain things and offend people.
The Promise of Biotechnology
Biotechnology involves the use of living things- plants, animals, microbes- to manufacture new products. Biotechnology in agriculture has led to the development of crops that supply higher yields, resist pests, or are tolerant of drought conditions. By increasing food production or modifying the nutritional content of foods, biotechnology offers another way of alleviating the world food crisis.
Genetic Modification methods, such as genetic engineering, involve scientific methods that alter an animal or plant's hereditary material (genes or DNA). For example, genes that produce a desirable trait are transferred from one organism into the DNA of a second organism, altering it's genes. Most of the soybeans and about 40% of the corn grown in the United States are from seeds that were genetically modified. Although these genetically modified organisms, or GMOs are used for feeding livestock, many processed foods manufactured for human consumption also contain ingredients from GMOs.
According to Dr. J. Craig Venter, geneticist and founder of the Institute for Genomic Research, the safety of genetically engineered crops destined for human consumption has been tested extensively. In 2004, a committee of scientists with the National Research Council reported that there was no documented evidence that genetic engineering resulted in human health problems. Some scientists, however, have raised concerns that GMOs introduce new proteins into the food chain, creating the potential for environmental harm. Moreover, certain people who consume foods that contain the new proteins might experience unexpected side effects, such as allergic responses, as a result. Despite these concerns, experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) think currently approved varities of genetically engineered foods are safe for human consumption. Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine the long-term safety of GMOs.
In the near future, farmers may find it difficult to sustain a high degree of agricultural productivity as crops and livestock reach their maximum capacity to produce food, particularly as water for irrigation becomes scarce and farmland is used for other purposes, such as housing for the ever-expanding population. Biotechnological advances in agriculture may help reduce the prevalence of undernutrition by increasing livestock production and crop yields in many parts of the world.