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Harms and benefits of GMO products: should they be abandoned?

Date: June 3, 2023 Time: 10:21:28

The abbreviation OMG made a lot of noise in the information space a few years back. At first, few people understood the exact definition of the words, and even after knowing the meaning of the letters, it was difficult to determine if such products would benefit or have a negative impact. The mistrust was caused by the fact that the human hand intervened in the natural process of growth of plants and animals.

The controversy has not subsided so far. Consumers often avoid GMO labeling, thinking that DNA-altered foods will have a negative impact on their health. Is really? What studies exist that demonstrate the innocuousness of modified organisms? The nutritionist shares his opinion.

What is GMO?

nutritionist, member of the National Society of Dietitians, member of the National League of Health

GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are products in which the genetic material has been modified using genetic engineering technologies. As a result of a plant, microorganisms have acquired new properties or characteristics that were not inherent in their parents.

The main objective of engineering was to improve the quality of products, productivity, safety. New types of laboratory-derived products were supposed to make a person’s job easier, but the person himself perceived the benefits with apprehension. Until now, the controversy surrounding modified organisms has not ceased.

How does the public feel about GMOs?

Data from the VTsIOM (All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center) says that almost 80% of Russians do not want to eat genetically engineered products. Similar surveys have been carried out in other countries. The results were similar: 90% of the Europeans and Americans surveyed are also negative towards GMOs.

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Respondents considered that any interference, even scientific, in the DNA of an organism is unnatural and its use can cause mutations and diseases in a person.

What does science say about GMOs?

The attitude towards GMO products also causes discussion in scientific circles. There are various views, but most of the world’s major medical communities have not identified the risks of modified organisms.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

The World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission, and the US National Academy of Sciences state that GM foods that have passed proper safety assessments do not harm the human body.

A study published in the Critical Reviews in Biotechnology magazine in 2019 reviewed more than 100 scientific articles and concluded that modified organisms do not pose any health risk.

This is also stated in the report of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine of the United States of 2016. The results showed that the transgenic crops that people and animals ate had no effect on the state of their bodies.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

However, scientists believe that more research is needed to assess the long-term effects of consuming genetically altered foods.

There are also concerns that they will have a negative impact on the environment. Transgenic plants can replace less adaptable and temperature tolerant agricultural crops.

Despite the controversy, most are confident that the future belongs to genetically modified foods. Because they produce high yields, are resistant to climate change, taste better than selectively bred plants, and require less maintenance.

Labeling of GMO products

Because consumers are concerned about the potential risks associated with GMO foods, a special warning sign is printed on the labels of products containing the modified gene.

It is important to note that each country has different regulations and policies regarding the labeling of genetic products.

Some countries require mandatory labeling of GMO products, while in other states these designations are not mandatory.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

The safety of GMO products is regulated and supervised by the relevant authorities. They carry out risk assessments and require proper labeling. In Russia, Rospotrebnadzor is engaged in such control.

In several European countries, genetically modified organisms from the United States are allowed for sale and are widely used in agriculture. The import and cultivation of transgenic products is still prohibited on the territory of Russia.

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Foods that may contain GMOs

Today, there are several types of products that are obtained by changing genes. They can be divided into two large groups: plant crops that contain modified genes and raw materials processed from GMOs, such as tofu, corn flakes, chips.

Often found and already eaten:

GMO vegetable oils from soybean, corn and rapeseed.

Corn Products: corn, both fresh and processed, corn flour, corn starch, corn flakes.

Photo: istocophoto.com

soy products: soybeans and products based on soybeans, such as soymilk, soybean tofu, soy sauce.

Cotton: Some cotton-containing products, such as cottonseed oil, can be produced from modified organisms and used for animal feed.

Seafood: in some countries, fish feed used for aquaculture and fisheries may contain genetically modified ingredients.

Dairy and meat products: there are cases in which animals are fed with genetically modified foods and, therefore, their milk and meat may contain traces of GMOs.

If you have personal concerns or policy considerations about GMOs, you can eliminate or limit their intake in your diet. It is important to trust reliable sources of information and discuss your doubts with experts in the field of nutrition and medicine.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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