About Genetically modified Food

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Genetically engineered foods (GMOs) are a modern scientific technology that has invaded civilization. It has met with a lot of opposition in developing countries, with the suggestion that it is harmful to people's wellbeing. Researchers have linked it to health problems such as diabetes and stunted development in infants. A controversy has raged for years between the World Health Organization and scientists who have long defended the nutritional value of these foods (Stave 367).

The Goal of GMO

The key goal of developing this invention was to help impoverished countries that are struggling to produce enough agricultural food due to climate change. Developing countries were the target of GMO after Europe staged a campaign against its production. However, the shift has been witnessed all over the world. People are becoming more cautious with their lives and have started rejecting genetically modified foods (Paarlberg 609). Other stakeholders such as media are also fueling the negative publicity about this. It is becoming hard to convince people on the benefit of these foods, since their minds have been eroded regarding the issue.

Research Objective and Questions

The current research aims to identify various effects of GMO Foods on the health of people. The guiding questions to achieve the objective will be as follows;

  1. What are the effects of GMO Food on the health of people worldwide?
  2. Are there policies regulating the use of GMO foods?


The method that will be employed will involve a review of the literature dated 1999-2017. All literature that is focusing on effects of GMO Foods and written in English will form the center of the research work. Various opinions and results gotten by varied authors will be evaluated and data clustered to assist in getting more information regarding the issue under discussion. Defining attributes will be identified to determine cases that are regularly mentioned in the selected literature. A comprehensive study will be conducted and single out more frequent consequences.

Literature Review

Adoption of GMO Foods in the world is lagging behind. Since 2004, the rate has been declining (Darr and Chern 141). This has been attributed to the war waged against them. Europe tops the list in advocating against the use of these Foods (Parcel 8). Major challenges have been identified with the consumption of these foods. The literature associates some medical complications with the end products of chemicals which are contained in GMO. Such complications are diabetes, retarded growth in children, cancer, and others which present themselves in different forms. These cases are prevalent in developing countries who have used this technology to boost agricultural production (Hudson 481).

It has been noted that gene transfer is the secret behind GMO crops. A plant or animal is made more productive by inserting desirable genes which can help achieve this objective. Potential allergens could be produced in this process (Guilbaud 84). If human beings consume these Foods, study has revealed potential allergic reactions to the user. Another risk is contamination of pharma crops such as corn. These are plants whose essential oils are extracted to manufacture drugs. If their DNA is interfered with through modification, possibilities are that different compounds would be produced when various extraction procedures are employed (Goya and Stuti 54). This is risky to the health of patients.

Policies have been put in place regulating the usage of GMO in the world. The World Health Organization has imposed strict measures to mitigate the production of such crops (Gruissen 116). Europe has also completely banned selling and marketing of any GMO Foods in their market. Developing countries are also following the trend. For example, Africa does not allow GMO in their market.

Works Cited

Darr, David and William, Chern. "Estimating adoption of GMO soybeans and maize: a case study of Ohio, USA." Market development for genetically modified foods, 2010, pp. 141-157.

The article focuses on the study conducted in the United States. It singled soybeans and maize marketed in Ohio. The aim of this study was to estimate the market of genetically modified beans and maize. The adoption of GMO beans was identified to be low in the cross study that was conducted with the intention to get insight of their consumption. It displayed a lot of resistance among the people because the sampled population were negative concerning them. The larger proportion of cereals in the market were the ones grown locally by the people. The paper indicates failure by the relevant scientific laboratories to release information which could guide people on the usage of GMO. It further notes tight policies have been employed by responsible government agencies regulating the usage of Genetically Modified Foods.

Goyal, Parul, and Stuti Gurtoo. "Factors Influencing Public Perception: Genetically Modified Organisms." GMO Biosafety Research, 2011, p.p.54-55.

It details perception among the individual concerning the use of GMO food. It discusses cultural influence, role of media and other stakeholders in labelling of the Technology, which has faced a lot of resistance in the community. Two key areas of concern were involved in the study. Europe, and developing countries with India being of interest. From the study, the key objective was to determine the reason people object usage of GMO and the idea behind it embracement in some countries. There has been a lot of resistance of GMO in Europe and that is the reason it was taken for comparison with India. Moreover, the researcher aimed to understand negative effects associated with these foods.

Gruissem, Willimson. "Crop Biofortification-GMO or Non-GMO." Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 150, 2010, pp. 116-116.

The article notes that bio fortified foods have progressively been used to combat chronic diseases. This is through nutritional added foods. It contradicts most of the articles which argues against GMO food. Instead, the author acknowledged the new technology relating it to the positive impacts it has brought in the field of agriculture. The review discusses the importance of improving nutritional content of crops to have positive impact on health of people. It further give examples of crops which have been modified with the aim of improving their nutritional content. It concludes by discussing the hurdles faced from the public and future of genetically modified foods.

Guilbaud, Axel, et al. "How Can Diet Affect the Accumulation of Advanced Glycation End-Products in the Human Body?" Foods, vol. 5, no. 4, 2016, p. 84.

The research paper focuses on the concentration of end products associated with genetically modified foods. The researcher attribute the new technology with various changes in content of food which is consumed by human beings. He cites Millard reaction which occurs in the human body as a result of certain chemicals such as lysine. GMO foods were found to contain a lot of chemicals which have significant negative impacts to the health of people. He notes that glycation end products causes complications such as kidney failure and diabetes. These products are not endogenously made but comes from dietary exposure. The article provides strategies to test for diet content in foods.

Hudson, John. "Genetically modified products and GMO foods: a game of chance?" Developing New Functional Food and Nutraceutical Products, 2017, pp. 481-494.

Hudson notes that dietary supplement and functional foods is increasing in the world at a rate of 10% per annum. People are demanding nutritious foods and crops which can thrive within short period of time. Moreover, people are becoming more cautious with their health and taking time before buying any foods in the market. This has resulted to continued decreases of consumption of GMOs, since people are now considering them as health hazards. They have been in the center of World Health Organization with a heated debate against their use. The Author notes the need to appreciate science and technology to mitigate cases of low food production.

Parcell, John. “Do agricultural commodity prices respond to GMO bans?" Consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods, 2016, pp. 1-8.

The paper talks about the acceptance of GMO in the market. It notes that consumers have been informed regarding the new variety of food available. They are resisting to use anything labelled GMO, basing their stand on the negative effects they have read either in articles or through mass campaign by various media. However, the study reveal that acceptance of GMO is reducing worldwide. The research was conducted in Europe and developing countries. It aimed to identify motivation behind acceptance of these foods in developing countries. It related the scenario to the high poverty levels witnessed in some developing nations and hence the need to have crops which could grow fast. This was contrary to the Europe, where debate against GMO started.

Paarlberg, Robert. "GMO foods and crops: Africa's choice." New Biotechnology, vol. 27, no. 5, 2010, pp. 609-613.

Paarberg (609) notes that campaign against genetically modified foods has hurt the economies of nations. This has emanated particularly from Europe. They have impeded adoption of GMO, which is a supplement to food shortage witnessed in most of the countries especially Africa. The articles affirms that these campaigns have hurt the economies of developing countries by significant value. Genetically Modified foods were considered as remedy to the declining agriculture in this countries. Activist have been blamed for erecting barriers to the development of poorest nations. The research further indicates that the use of GMO food has improved economies of various nations which have appreciated the move. This is through introduction of drought resistant crops which can sustain adverse climatic changes.

Stave, James W. "Detection of new or modified proteins in novel foods derived from GMO – future needs." Food Control, vol. 10, no. 6, 1999, pp. 367-374.

The aim of this research was to determine the characteristic of protein found in GMO foods. It was a qualitative and quantities experiment. Quantification of GMO product was regarded important to help in future prevention of the cases against GMO. The new protein was found to differ in the natural proteins in terms of structure. The article asserts that this is the point of concern, where various scientist have missed out. It is recorded that it is the source of risk to any user since it can cause certain diseases such as cancer. The article recommends further research to be conducted to validate the use of GMO, since the current results are not pleasing.

October 19, 2022


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