However, skeptics are not convinced.
Advertisement In Brief The vast majority of the research on genetically modified GM crops suggests that they are safe to eat and that they have the potential to feed millions of people worldwide who currently go hungry.
|Genetically engineered foods: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia||The conclusions of those studies have been refuted by numerous scientists who have noted flaws in study designs and statistical evaluations. Environmental concerns Realistic environmental concerns over GM crops fall into two categories; 1 the development of resistance in Bt crop target organisms and 2 tolerance in weeds to complementary herbicides used in HT crops.|
|Are genetically modified plant foods safe to eat?||However, skeptics are not convinced. It might even be harder to convince consumers who are getting contradictory information on these genetically-modified food.|
|1 Could genetically modified plant foods have health effects?||GMOs often make news related to the environment, world hunger, the economy, politics, and yes, even health. Those against them say eating foods made from GMOs is bad for you.|
|Is GMO food Safe?||The conclusions of those studies have been refuted by numerous scientists who have noted flaws in study designs and statistical evaluations. Environmental concerns Realistic environmental concerns over GM crops fall into two categories; 1 the development of resistance in Bt crop target organisms and 2 tolerance in weeds to complementary herbicides used in HT crops.|
|About the author||URL of this page: Scientists take the gene for a desired trait in one plant or animal, and they insert that gene into a cell of another plant or animal.|
Yet not all criticisms of GM are so easily rejected, and pro-GM scientists are often dismissive and even unscientific in their rejection of the counterevidence.
A careful analysis of the risks and benefits argues for expanded deployment and safety testing of GM crops. Robert Goldberg sags into his desk chair and gestures at the air. He is expressing despair at the relentless need to confront what he sees as bogus fears over the health risks of genetically modified GM crops.
Particularly frustrating to him, he says, is that this debate should have ended decades ago, when researchers produced a stream of exonerating evidence: But now anyone in this field knows the genome is not a static environment.
Inserted genes can be transformed by several different means, and it can happen generations later. Williams concedes that he is among a tiny minority of biologists raising sharp questions about the safety of GM crops. But he says this is only because the field of plant molecular biology is protecting its interests.
Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture. He says that biologists who point out health or other risks associated with GM crops—who merely report or defend experimental findings that imply there may be risks—find themselves the focus of vicious attacks on their credibility, which leads scientists who see problems with GM foods to keep quiet.
Whether Williams is right or wrong, one thing is undeniable: To researchers such as Goldberg, however, the persistence of fears about GM foods is nothing short of exasperating.
When we look carefully at the evidence for both sides and weigh the risks and benefits, we find a surprisingly clear path out of this dilemma.
Benefits and worries The bulk of the science on GM safety points in one direction. Take it from David Zilberman, a U. Berkeley agricultural and environmental economist and one of the few researchers considered credible by both agricultural chemical companies and their critics.
He argues that the benefits of GM crops greatly outweigh the health risks, which so far remain theoretical. It has raised the output of corn, cotton and soy by 20 to 30 percent, allowing some people to survive who would not have without it.
If it were more widely adopted around the world, the price [of food] would go lower, and fewer people would die of hunger. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the world will have to grow 70 percent more food by just to keep up with population growth.
GM crops, Zilberman says, could produce higher yields, grow in dry and salty land, withstand high and low temperatures, and tolerate insects, disease and herbicides. Jen Christiansen Despite such promise, much of the world has been busy banning, restricting and otherwise shunning GM foods.
Nearly all the corn and soybeans grown in the U. Approval of a few new GM corn strains has been proposed there, but so far it has been repeatedly and soundly voted down. Throughout Asia, including in India and China, governments have yet to approve most GM crops, including an insect-resistant rice that produces higher yields with less pesticide.
In Africa, where millions go hungry, several nations have refused to import GM foods in spite of their lower costs the result of higher yields and a reduced need for water and pesticides. Kenya has banned them altogether amid widespread malnutrition.
No country has definite plans to grow Golden Rice, a crop engineered to deliver more vitamin A than spinach rice normally has no vitamin Aeven though vitamin A deficiency causes more than one million deaths annually and half a million cases of irreversible blindness in the developing world.
Other Latin American countries are pushing away from the plants. And even in the U. In the U. The fear fueling all this activity has a long history.
The public has been worried about the safety of GM foods since scientists at the University of Washington developed the first genetically modified tobacco plants in the s. In the mids, when the first GM crops reached the market, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Ralph Nader, Prince Charles and a number of celebrity chefs took highly visible stands against them.
Consumers in Europe became particularly alarmed: In Europe, skepticism about GM foods has long been bundled with other concerns, such as a resentment of American agribusiness. Whatever it is based on, however, the European attitude reverberates across the world, influencing policy in countries where GM crops could have tremendous benefits.
Ordinary wheat has long been strictly a human-engineered plant; it could not exist outside of farms, because its seeds do not scatter.Most packaged foods contain ingredients derived from corn, soy, canola, and sugar beet — and the vast majority of those crops grown in North America are genetically modified.
3 To see a list of high-risk crops, visit the What is GMO page. May 17, · TUESDAY, May 17, (HealthDay News) -- Genetically modified crops pose no apparent risk to human health, an extensive study released Tuesday by a . Genetically engineered foods are just as safe as conventional foods. In the United States, labeling of genetically engineered foods is not required by the FDA.
This is because there has been no significant difference found in nutrition or safety. Genetically-engineered crops are as safe to eat as their non-GE counterparts, they have no adverse environmental impacts, and they have reduced the use of pesticides.
That’s according to a. The safety of genetically modified (GM) foods has been decried by many from the nutritional health community. One article, entitled, "Genetically Modified Foods Pose Huge Health Risk" claims that thousands of animals fed genetically-modified organisms (GMO) have died and that "post mortems showed.
Find out the basic facts from WebMD so you can make informed decisions about your health. And the American Medical Association thinks genetically modified foods are OK.