Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Nature on Fast-forward

Genetically Modified food has been around in the store for years now. We may not know it, but one point is often left out.Is Genetically Modified food safe to eat?

What would’ve your favourite food looked like if it wasn’t Genetically Modified? As we are used to the food we see in the market this days, we don’t realise that it has been modified over Millennia; the taste, appearance and size has changed. Over the years farmers were finding to improve the quality and quantity of the produced food, and now that they have the option to play around with the genes and produce which I call “Un-natural” food.

Do we know what Genetically Modified food is? Let me tell you. Genetically modified foods are the products of alterations, which wouldn’t occur naturally but are controlled by men. This modification is made in need to make the better yield but should we control the nature?

The Good:

The good side of the Genetically Modified food is that they have wide range of potential benefits.

Some of the benefits of Genetically Modified foods are:

  • Improved crop Yield
  • Reduced ripening time, larger fruits, increased stress tolerance
  • Resistance to pests and disease
  • Reduced need for herbicides/pesticides
  • Ability to modify the food in a desirable produce such as nutrients
  • More food is produced, helps the starving population in third world countries.
  • Reduce greenhouse emissions

The Bad:

As there are positive benefits of genetically modified food, there are also series of negative health impacts.

  • Food items that contains GMOs are unlabeled (most of countries)
  • Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity
  • Health consequences
  • GMOs are not the answer for global food security
  • GMOs require massive amount of pesticides, herbicides and fungi

Some of the Heath Risk:

  • Rapid aging
  • Infertility
  • Immune problems
  • Gastrointestinal dysfunctions

There are many reasons why GMO food could be a better option; but there are also some studies that show that it is harmful to our health. Which side should we support? According to Monsanto’s spokesperson, Christi Dixon “In thousands of independent studies since the 1980’s, not one health issue has ever been identified,” and also Pamela Ronald, a University of California at Davis professor, wrote for Scientific American in 2011 that “There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat,”. We might not have enough evidence to prove if it’s good or bad for us, but we can all read the food labels to avoid consuming GMOs.

The big question: “Are GMOs safe? How do we know its GMOs food?”

I’ll talk about GMOs labelling in my next blog.







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This entry was posted on May 11, 2016 by in Burwood - Thursday 2pm.

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