The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Foods

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Genetically Modified (GM) foods are thought to lead into adverse health and environmental outcomes an aspect that has lead consumers to develop a negative perception towards these foods. Despite the increased campaigns by the producers and marketers on the potential benefits and opportunities of GM foods, still majority of consumers have a strong negative perception towards these foods terming them as unnatural and unfamiliar. Some consumer groups in different countries have launched anti-GM food campaigns to protect consumers from the potential risks associated with these foods. Additionally, some government has gone to the extent of fighting GM foods by requiring food processors and marketers to have a label of GM contents in their products. The paper explores the issues caused by genetically modified (GM) foods.


Genetically modified (GM) foods have the potential to cause allergenicity in adults and children (Shew et al., 2016, p. 6).   

Consumption of GM foods can trigger allergic condition as they contain allergenic substances associated with the introduction of new genes into the crops (Health24, 2015).

Some of the crops have been modified to ensure high ability of the protein to withstand heat which may shows that it may trigger allergic reactions when consumer by humans (Bakshi, 2003, p. 211).

There are people who are allergic to certain foods such as proteins. Food allergy is dangerous as it may result in mild effects and sudden death.

When GM foods are consumed by people with food allergies, they may introduce novel proteins into their digestive systems; whereby some of the proteins may be allergenic resulting in reactions Siipi, 2015, p. 806).

Genetically modified (GM) foods are unsafe for human consumption as they may lead into antibiotic resistance (Kim, 2012, p. 189).

GM are engineered which makes them antibiotic resistance which means they are not affected by antibiotics.

GM foods are therefore resistant to antibiotics which increase their ability to multiply and survive as compared to foods that are naturally occurring.

Genes are used of GM foods to make them resistance to antibiotics.

The unexpected combination of these foreign genes with pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals may result in antibiotic resistance in people who consume GM foods (Wilson, Evans, Leppard, & Syrette, 2004, p. 1132).

Important to note is that antibiotic resistance in human is dangerous makes it difficult to treat infections that cannot be treated with traditional antibiotics which result in worsening of the health condition or even death due to lack of proper treatment (Frewer, Scholderer, and Bredahl, 2003, p.1119 ).

Genetically modified foods may lead to food contamination due to heavy-metal sequestration resulting in adverse health outcomes such as diarrhea in humans who consume these foods (Hingston, & Noseworthy, 2018, p. 126).

Some genes introduced in the GM crops have the ability to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the soil and concentrate them in the plants (McFadden, 2016, p. 112).

The aim of modifying the crop is to concentrate the metal in the parts of the plant that are inedible to prevent food contamination on consumers.

The metals are sequestered on the edible parts of the plant which makes them foods unfit for human consumption (Tamar, 2013).


In conclusion, GM foods poses serious risks on health of consumers are they have the potential to lead into serious adverse health outcomes. One of the potential risk factors associated with consumption of GM foods is the increased antibiotic resistance leading to worsening of the illness due to improper treatment of infections that are untreated with other medicines. GM foods have the potentiality of causing allergic reactions among humans who are allergic to certain foods such as proteins. Finally, GM foods are unsafe for human consumption due to the possibility of heavy-metal sequestration which result in food contamination. People need to be cautions with the people the food they consume to ensure it are safe. GM foods should be labeled including their content to increase awareness among the consumers on their safety.


Bakshi A. (2003). Potential adverse health effects of genetically modified crops. Journal of

Toxicol Environmental B Crit Rev, 6(3): 211-225

Frewer L. J., Scholderer J., and Bredahl L. (2003). Communicating about the Risks and Benefits

of Genetically Modified Foods: The Mediating Role of Trust. Risk Analysis, 23(6): 1117-1123

Hingston S. T., & Noseworthy T.J (2018). Why Consumers Don’t See the Benefits of

Genetically Modified Foods, and What Marketers Can Do About It. Journal of Marketing, 82(9): 124-140

Health24. (2015). The Negative Health Effects of GM Foods and how to Negate them.


Kim R. B. (2012). Consumer Attitude of Risk and Benefits toward Genetically Modified (GM)

Foods in South Korea: Implications for Food Policy. Inzinerine Ekonomika-Engineering Economics,23(2), 189-199

McFadden B.R. (2016). Examining the Gap between Science and Public Opinion about

Genetically Modified Food and Global Warming. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166140. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0166140

Shew A.M., et al. (2016). Are all GMOs the same? Consumer acceptance of cisgenic rice in

India? Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14, pp. 4–7 doi: 10.1111/pbi.12442

Siipi H. (2015). Is Genetically Modified Food Unnatural? Journal of Agric Environ Ethics

(2015) 28:807–816 DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9568-5

Tamar H. (2013). Genetically modified foods: What is and isn’t true. Washington Post. October

15, 2013.

Wilson C., Evans G., Leppard P., & Syrette J. (2004). Reactions to Genetically Modified Food

Crops and How Perception of Risks and Benefits Influences Consumers’ Information Gathering. Risk Analysis, 24(5), 1131-1139

August 04, 2023

Food Science

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