Day 35 – Q 3.What are the concerns over the use of genetically modified (GM) products? Do you find these concerns relevant? Haven’t many other countries embraced GM products? Critically comment.
3. What are the concerns over the use of genetically modified (GM) products? Do you find these concerns relevant? Haven’t many other countries embraced GM products? Critically comment.
आनुवंशिक रूप से संशोधित (जीएम) उत्पादों के उपयोग पर क्या चिंताएं हैं? क्या आप इन चिंताओं को प्रासंगिक पाते हैं? क्या कई अन्य देशों ने जीएम उत्पादों को अपनाया नहीं है? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।
Genetically modified Products contain genomes which are engineered in the laboratory to favour the expression of desired physiological traits or the production of desired biological products.
GMOs produced through genetic technologies have become a part of everyday life, entering into society through agriculture, medicine, research, and environmental management. However, while GM products have benefited human society in many ways, some disadvantages exist; therefore, the production of GM Products remains a highly controversial topic in many parts of the world.
Concerns over the use of genetically modified (GM) products:
There are unknown consequences of altering the natural state of an organism through foreign gene expression. After all, such alterations can change the organism’s metabolism, growth rate, and/or response to external environmental factors. These consequences influence not only the GMO itself but also the natural environment in which that organism is allowed to proliferate. Potential health risks to humans include the possibility of exposure to new allergens in genetically modified foods, as well as the transfer of antibiotic-resistant genes to gut flora.
|Area Of Concern
|They can have harmful effects on the human body. It is believed that consumption of these genetically engineered foods can cause the development of diseases which are immune to antibiotics.
|This GM method can cause damage to other organisms that thrive in the environment and can create ecological imbalances.
The risks of “tampering with Mother Nature”.
|Genetic changes will become permanent and irreversible with times, and undesirable and uncontrolled mutations can occur.
|With the increase of GM Products, developing countries would start depending more on industrial countries because it is likely that food production would be controlled by developed countries in the time to come.
|The evolution of resistant pests and weeds termed superbugs and superweeds is another problem. Resistance can evolve whenever selective pressure is strong enough. This can cause the evolution of resistant insects in a few years and nullify the effects of the transgenic.
|Many religious and cultural communities are against such foods because they see it as an unnatural way of producing foods. Many people are also not comfortable with the idea of transferring animal genes into plants and vice versa.
|Awareness and Labeling
|Manufacturers do not mention on the label that foods are developed by genetic manipulation because they think that this would affect their business, which is not a good practice.
Some benefits of GM Products:
- Increased crop yields.
- Reduced costs for food or drug production.
- Reduced need for pesticides.
- Enhanced nutrient composition.
- Enhanced food quality and better test.
- Resistance to pests and disease.
- Greater food security,
- Medical benefits to the world’s growing population.
- Increase the yield of animals for milk and meat production.
- Decrease susceptibility to disease in animals.
- Allowing plants to grow in conditions where they might not otherwise flourish.
- Increased shelf life and hence there is less fear of foods getting spoiled quickly.
- Growing food free from chemicals and pesticides.
The response of other countries towards embracing GM:
The way governments have regulated GM foods varies. In some countries, GM foods are not yet regulated. Countries which have regulatory provisions for GM foods usually also regulate GMOs in general, taking into account health and environmental risks, as well as control- and trade-related issues (such as potential testing and labelling regimes).
- About 90 per cent of the corn, cotton, and soybeans planted in the United States were GM.
- The EU allows for the import of certain GM crops. Within Europe, however, only one GM crop, a type of insect-resistant corn (maize), was cultivated.
- Countries such as Canada, China, Argentina, and Australia, had open policies on GM products.
- Japan is a leading GM food importer but has not grown GM food crops.
- Eleven countries grew modified soybean, with the USA, Brazil and Argentina accounting for 90% of the total hectare.
- Seventeen countries grow GM maize and fifteen grow GM cotton.
- Most of GM canola was grown in Canada.
- In Bangladesh, a GM eggplant was grown commercially for the first time.
- In India, only GM- cotton is produced.
- Some countries, including certain African states, had rejected GM products.
The GM foods have the potential to solve many of the world’s hunger and malnutrition problems and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yield and reducing reliance upon synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Genetic engineering is the inevitable wave of the future and that we cannot afford to ignore a technology that has enormous potential benefits.