Genetically modified foods are foods produced through biotechnology processes involving alteration of DNA. This genetic modification is done to give the organism or crops with enhanced nutritional value, increased resistance to herbicides and pesticides, and reduction of production costs.
We will write a custom Essay on Genetically Modified Foods Negative Aspects specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Besides, genetically modified foods are integral in enhancement of food security, enhanced quality and increased shelf-life; hence becoming cost-effective to consumers and farmers. However, genetically modified foods have raised issues pertaining to safety and consequences of their consumption. This paper highlights the negative aspects that are associated with genetically modified foods; genetically modified foods expose people and the environment to risks.
First, experts are not certain that the process is safe. Therefore, there are fears that DNA transfer might not be effective. Moreover, untargeted cells may be affected resulting in suppression of some proteins. This would lead to unanticipated gene mutations in target cells hence, leading to physiological alterations.
Secondly, research has shown that genetically modified foods pose serious health risks. For instance, GMOs can cause impotency, disorders of the immune system, hormonal disorders, accelerated aging, alteration of vital organs in the body system. Moreover, genetically modified foods can cause allergies and be a source of toxins. Thus, their use has seen the development of complications such as premature delivery, abortions and sterility.
Moreover, it is evident that animals feeding on genetically modified food have an increased number of cytokines. This has been associated with conditions such as allergies, inflammation and asthma in human beings. In serious cases, these foods have worsened medical conditions that were mild.
Thirdly, genetically modified crops have a likelihood of increasing the expression on naturally occurring toxins. This is due to activation of proteins that control the same. This results in the release of toxins that make foods not safe for human consumption. Thus, people are severely affected when these toxins get into their body systems.
Furthermore, genetically modified food suits developed countries. Farmers in developed countries have resources and capital to execute this procedure. However, low income farmers are at a disadvantage because they cannot afford its procedures. In addition, political and economic aspects prevent food distribution to the poor and vulnerable populations in developing nations.
What is more, genetically modified foods are associated with environmental risks. Large scale farming involving genetically modified foods serves the interests of few people. In fact, it has been determined that the process is commercialized to the extent that, it exploits people’s patents rather than giving support and protection. For instance, commercial firms apply the knowledge of consumers concerning indigenous crops but, they do not give back to the society.
Farmers are required to buy seeds from commercial firms at an elevated price. Again, the food security needs are not met by commercial firms because of their selfish interests. Besides, their activities result in the generation of toxic wastes that harm the environment and its people. Some ethical and legal regulations have been overlooked at the expense of making profits. Thus, instead of improving the society by producing safe food, they are destroying its life.
The other environmental risk is the possibility of the development of resistant weeds. This can be facilitated by the transfer of pest resistant genes to wild plants. Non- target plants would also lack biodiversity because of genetic engineering. Improved wild plants will then attack crops leading to reduced yield in farms.
Eradication of the same will also be extremely difficult and costly to the common farmers. Also, some of the chemicals used may end up in the soil and thus, alter the composition of the soil. They would also get into water bodies and cause poisoning of aquatic lives.
In summary, genetic engineering can be a solution to the attainment of food security. This will benefit most of the developing nations. However, the same procedure would have adverse effects to humans and the environment. Thus, there is the need to conduct adequate research on genetically modified foods so that, it benefits the society. It is not ethical for commercial firms to make profits at the expense of poor health and environmental risks.