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GMOs are popular among food products. Every year, more GMO crops are added to the list of products available in supermarkets.
GMO in Supermarkets
A genetically modified organism, commonly called GMO, is the merged result of the DNA of two different species that produce a hybrid species.
In the United States, there are around 88% of corm and 94% of soy are combined genetically. Aside from corn and soy, alfalfa, papaya, sugar beets, apples, canola, squash, and zucchini have GMO versions.
Jeffrey Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology’s founding executive director, listed the common food that is GMOs. The list includes tomato sauce, meats, and infant formula.
According to Smith, the practice of having a GMO version of foods opposed the natural world in food production. The modified foods that are widely distributed in markets are causing debate among consumers.
The Ongoing Debate on GMOs
Scientists and researchers are divided on the idea of the safety of GMO foods. Some believed that if the foods are not tested properly, it can pose health risks.
Environmental Sciences Europe have 300 of its scientists sign a paper informing the public that there is no general agreement that GMOs are safe, as there are no studies to back it up.
On the other hand, some believe that foundation-funded studies are reliable, which makes them good points for consideration.
The most debatable study on GMOs was conducted by Gilles-Éric Séralini, a French biologist. In the study, it was revealed that lab rats contracted tumors after giving GMO foods for 90 days.
The growth of the tumor was due to a chemical pesticide called glyphosate which is found in GMO foods. The study by Seralini gained a lot of criticisms from pro-GMO researchers who claim that the rats Seralini used are the wrong type of rats.
Is it Healthier than Organic Food?
Pro-GMO researchers argued that GMO foods have higher production than organic foods. A study in the Institute of Life Sciences in Pisa supports this claim. In the study, it was found out that GMO corn can yield from 5.6% to 24.5%. This is much higher than organic crops.
GMO crops have a lower chance of fungi infections. Organic food advocates strongly believed that since GMO crops are engineered and can be cloned, the crops are susceptible to plant diseases.
Another concern raised for GMO crops is the use of Roundup, a pesticide that contained glyphosate. In 2015, the World Health Organization confirmed that glyphosate is a potential carcinogen.
Despite the negative impacts of GMOs on health, others can see a positive impact in solving Vitamin A deficiency. The project Super Banana is one example, as it aims to resolve Vitamin A deficiency in Uganda. Since genetically engineered products can yield and produce larger amounts, it allows the project to provide more bananas to the patients.
Regulation in Production
With the never-ending debate on GMOs, some countries have already regulated the consumption and production of these foods.
Countries like Denmark, France, Germany, and the Netherlands have been required to label all the GMO products in the supermarket. Meanwhile, Russia has banned GMO crops since 2015.
In the United States, labeling of GMO products is not fully implemented. In 2016, the federal government implemented the DARK Act 2.0 which prohibit the labeling of GMO items.
Despite the health precautions and other issues that surround genetically engineered foods, foods are tasty and nutritious. These products are meant to increase the food supply and withstand a long shelf life.