Are genetically modified foods safe to eat? Essay
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Nowadays, genetically modified crops are planted worldwide. According to Human Genome Project, over 10 million farmers in 22 countries are planting genetically modified crops on the fields. The total acreage has reached a quarter billion (2011).
Apparently, genetically modified foods have prominent benefits so that more and more people are planting them and eating them. Genetically modified plants are able to resist pests and certain kinds of diseases as well as tolerant cold and drought because scientists move specific foreign genes into the plants.
Therefore, world crop productivity increaseds by 25 percent by planting genetically modified crops.
Specifically, Iin United States, after the crops were genetically modified, six kinds of crops were able to produce 4 billion pounds more compared to the past than before without having to increaseing any acreage for planting (Deal & Baird, 2003). As the problem of food insufficiency is getting increasingly more and more serious, the appearance of genetically modified foods may successfully alleviate this crisis. Besides, scientists are able to add more some nutrition in genetically modified foods.
According to Lerner, genetically modified foods contain more and more nutrition.
For example, Sseveral healthy fatty acids are added in canola oil. DHA omega-3, which is beneficial to cardiovascular health, is in genetically modified foods as well (2009). This article will prove that genetically modified foods are safe enough to eat in three different kinds of approaches: logic approach, science evidences approach, and reality evidences approach. First, logically speaking, genetic modification technique is an improvement in the real world, and any applications of new techniques needs a process from immaturitye to maturitye. For example, the development of the airplane went through a lot of difficulty.
An aviator Thomas E. Selfridge died because of the airplane crash accident in 1908. Things also happened to spaceships. On January 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded and killed all of the seven astronauts in it. After these tragedies happened, no one said we should stop developing airplanes or spaceships. Genetic modification technique is as mature as airplane technique that has gone through one hundred years of modification ago and more mature than the thirty years old or spaceship developmenttechnique thirty years ago. Theis genetic modification technique is even safer because no devastating event has happened yet.
Now that we accept astronauts getting into spaceships which are not one hundred percent safe, we can accept genetically modified foods which seem to be safe for now. In addition, the plants that exist in nature are not all good. Our ancestors tried and selected things that are edible to human can eat as foods, and planted the crops which produced foods. Farmers use cross breeding technology in order to get more productive crops. That is how seedless watermelons are created. According to the high school biology textbook, first, give a normal watermelon seedling colchicine, which is a chemical.
The normal watermelon plant will become a tetraploid watermelon plant, which doubles its chromosome and has four sets of chromosomes. Then cross breed the tetraploid and a normal one. Their offspring is a triploid, which has three sets of chromosomes and the watermelon results in being seedlessdoes not have seeds. Genetic modification is just a more advanced technology to create productive crops that also provide convenience. It means iIf people accept seedless watermelon, people can accept genetically modified foods. The second approach is scientific evidence approach.
Ggenetically modified foods are the foods that have added by a foreign genes or genes on purpose. Scientists add those foreign genes into the original plants to make them have some good traits including disease resistance, pest resistance, cold tolerance and drought tolerance. However, these changes do not make any difference in their essence as foods. According to University of Guelph website, the concept of, substantial equivalence, means one kind of food can be seen as the other kind of food.
After several tests, genetically modified foods are said to be substantial equivalent, meaning that genetically modified foods is the same as other regular foods when used as human foods (2013). Before a genetically modified food can get access to supermarkets, it must pass a whole bunch of tests. These tests involve protein level tests, which test whether the genes of the genetically modified plants can express any harmful protein, and individual level tests, which test whether animals perform normally after eating this genetically modified food. Also, scientists analyze DNA to detect whether the new added DNA sequence will cause any unintended effect (Kuiper, et al. 2001).
Only if the genetically modified food has none of these problems, customers can find it in supermarkets. Maybe it sounds simple, but in fact, it is very complicated in practice. Take vivo testing as an example. Right before a genetically modified food comes into supermarkets, it has to pass vivo testing. First, they use mice to do animal tests for ninety days. If the tests show this genetically modified food can use as human food. Then they do the next several stages of tests. They use more and more human volunteers to do the tests for longer and longer time. If any experiments fail, this food will never be human food (Fagan).
Even if it passes all the tests, for some cases, it takes as long as ten years for it to be able to come into supermarkets. Last but not least, in reality, no evidence supports the point of view that genetically modified foods are harmful for human beings. People on the opposite side use failures of some laboratory experiments as arguments. However, those failed experiments are proved to be under questioning conditions. People who conduct the experiments forced the rats to eat only one kind of genetically modified food for several days (Deal & Baird, 2003).
Under this condition, those rats turning out unhealthy or died cannot prove anything. Some genetically modified foods do cause allergy reaction, though. Transgenic soybeans, which contain the genes from an allergenic food, Brazil nut, cause allergy reactions. This event arouses heated discussion in public. However, the discussion is about whether producers should label genetically modified foods, but not whether genetically modified foods are safe or not. Still, America and Europe have forbidden using the gene from Brazil nut as a foreign gene in genetically modified foods. More over, United Nation agencies are keeping their eyes on these typetypes of events.
Once they realize risks of allergies exist, they document the risks and notify the public to be careful (Food allergy 2001). This case shows that if any problem occurs, it is fixable. Therefore, the genetically modified foods that people can buy in the supermarkets are safe to eat. To sum up, genetically modified foods are safe to eat in all of the logical sense, scientific sense, and reality sense. Genetically modified foods are the results of advanced biology technology. Scientific evidences prove that the modified foods are safe to eat make sure of their safety.