Many consumers in different parts of the world are demanding the labeling of GMOs to distinguish them from naturally and organically produced food so that they could make their free choice. There are requirements for labeling system and trustworthy distinction of GMOS and non-GMOS both at production and processing level. Many governments are on the process of developing strict measures to regulate the development and use of GMOs.
Controversy The opponents of this new technology argue that the main problem is not food production not its distribution and politics, hence there in no need for GMOs which they claim are a potential risk to the consumers in the name of food security. For example in 1998 there was an outcry when Rowett institute discovered that use of genetically modified potatoes producing lectins had negative effect in the rat intestines (Tokar, B. 2001)
The proponents of the technology claim that it will increase yields reduce the use of chemicals in the control of pests; improve nutrition and lower production costs since these organisms mature very fast. Only few licenses are given to farmers in the third world countries allowing farmers to save seed s for future use. Also many of the developing countries and most European countries have banned the use of genetically modified organisms.
For example in the year 2005, the government of Hungary banned the use of genetically modified maize. (Jeremy, R 1998) Conclusion Both genetically modified foods and the naturally grown food do carry some potentially dangerous compounds that should be assessed for safety. The best time for assessment of these foods for their safety is premarket period. There is rising concern on the safety of the GMOs in parts of the world, mainly in Europe which has seen major anti-GMO rallies.
It’s important to recognize that every technology has its merits and demerits hence despite the rising concern on the safety of these foods, there is evidence that its merits are far more than the demerits . it is also important to educate the public on the in detail the meaning of GMOs so that they could make in formed decisions. References Nestle, M. Safe food: bacteria biotechnology and bioterrorism. University of California Press, 2004 Tokar, B. Against the grain: biotechnology and the corporate takeover of your food, 2001. Jeremy, R. Gene wars: the politics of biotechnology. Tarcherputman, 1998.
Courtney from Study Moose