„Everything is poison and nothing is not. Only the dose is decided by ‚Paracelsus’
What is it and how it arises?
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) – organisms that thanks to genetic engineering methods, namely modifications in their genome, obtained new features. This method involves transferring a fragment of DNA from a foreign organism to the parent organism. In this way new organisms are obtained that are not found in nature and can be obtained under natural conditions, e.g. by reproduction, is not possible.
Fear of GMOs.
Apart from the influence of the media, which often bias the subject of GMOs, the fear of transgenic (modified) food is to a large extent the result of the lack of sufficient knowledge. People usually have limited confidence in new technologies and sometimes they just bear their imagination. It is obvious that the beet will not grow a tail, and the apples will not get wings. However, forms that often take on modifications, such as lettuce with a rat gene or potatoes with a jellyfish gene, give rise to different sensations. It must be admitted that for a layman, the expression „genetically modified” already contains a message that may be disturbing.
Are you able to completely avoid eating GM food?
You must realize that products containing GMOs appear on your table every day – whether you like it or not. In this matter, the numbers speak for themselves. The USA is the largest soy producer in the world. Over 90% of soy produced in the United States is transgenic soy. Combining this with the fact that 60% of world food has soy in its composition, it can be easily calculated that the total avoidance of eating GMOs is impossible. In Poland, 80% of feed for animals is genetically modified feed, so when you eat meat, you also eat GMO. Considering the above facts, one can assume that there is no such person in the world (or there are very few of them) who would not eat a product containing transgenic food all his life. Of course, in many cases, these are trace amounts, so even if you are a staunch opponent of GMO food, it does not mean that you have to start starving.
GMOs have as many supporters as opponents. Learn the pros and cons.
Arguments of supporters
- reducing the consumption of pesticides (spraying),
- studies of modified organisms do not show harmfulness to human health,
- GM plants are cheaper and more efficient, they stay fresh longer,
- GM plants can be grown in adverse soil and climatic conditions, eg frost, drought,
- GM plants have increased nutritional values and additional vitamins.
Arguments of opponents
- GMO products may have a negative impact on health (increased risk of allergy, infertility or cancer),
- as a result of hybridization of GMO plants with natural ones, it is possible to form super-weeds (resistant to pesticides),
- threat to biodiversity (eg the exclusion of other species by modified maize),
- there is a possibility of immunization of the human body to antibiotics, because the genes used for the production of GMOs are resistant to them,
- the effects of long-term consumption of GMO products are unknown.
This is only part of the arguments of both parties. Some of them are indisputable. Others are the subject of disputes. One argument raises three counterarguments, of which nine more are made on the model of the mythical Lerna Hydra and the discussions are endless.
Of course, there are also ethical and economic aspects. They have been deliberately omitted. Discussing which corporations and GMOs are on hand, and for which it is wind in the eye, does not serve to evaluate the product itself. Reflecting on whether one can interfere with nature and thus its creator is also not conducive to the objectivity of this assessment.
The release of transgenic mosquito caused a significant decrease in the population of these blood-sucking dengue virus carriers (a deadly viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes). This phenomenon consists in damaging the genomes of female mosquitoes in such a way that they could reproduce themselves, but that their offspring would be sterile. Then they are released into the environment in which the disease prevails. In this way, the number of carriers of a dangerous virus can be effectively reduced. In the Cayman Islands, scientists have noted a decline in carriers by 80%, and in Brazil by as much as 90%.
GMO is a very wide concept and every case or aspect has to be assessed separately. Genetically modified organisms certainly carry a lot of positive and negative consequences, and as any new technology raises anxiety. There is no unambiguous answer to the questions whether it is good or bad, safe or not. Nothing in the world is 100% safe. In the light of the information provided, you should decide yourself which aspects of the GMO you are a believer with which you want to fight, which to avoid, and which you simply accept.