Genetic modification, also known as genetic engineering, often introduces new, desirable characteristics to plants, such as greater resistance to pests. Many crops are grown using genetically engineered seeds, including a large share of the soybean, corn, cotton and canola crop. As a result, the majority of processed foods contain at least one genetically modified ingredient. Despite the growing use of genetically modified crops over the past 20 years. Even though genetically modified foods has a lot of advantages when it comes to productivity, researchers has argued that it can be dangerous to health.
Some researchers believe that eating GMO foods can contribute to the development of cancer. They argue that because the disease is caused by mutations in DNA, it is dangerous to introduce new genes into the body. The American Cancer Society (ACS) have said that there is no evidence for this.
Some people believe that GMO foods have more potential to trigger allergic reactions. This is because they may contain genes from an allergen, a food that prompts an allergic reaction.
Identify how produce is grown by reading its label or sticker number.
(a) 4-digit number means food was conventionally grown.
(b) 5-digit number that begins with a 9 means produce is organic.
(c) 5-digit number that begins with an 8 means it is genetically modified. (PLU labeling is optional so not all genetically modified produce can be identified).
Although 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. Challenges ahead lie in many areas viz. safety testing, regulation, policies and food labelling.
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