Evaluating the benefits and impacts of Genetically Modified (GM) food
The scientific study of genes began in the 1860’s. It was the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel who introduced the concept of a gene as something of inheritance. He discovered this by a study done on pea plants for about 8 years. He performed study on Pea plants because he could easily control the plants fertilization by transferring pollen grains himself using brush. Genetic engineering is the technique that allows scientists to alter the genes of an organism. This meant scientists could then alter genes of plants that grow fruits. This technique is applied on crop seeds to produce Genetically modified foods that we eat today.
This technique has allowed to modify existing genes of crops such that they can now grow at seasons, climates and soils they could not grow before. Genetically modified foods are produced mostly in developed countries because they cost more, and consumers also must pay more to buy them. Today about 70% of food we consume is Genetically modified.
However, the use of GM foods has negative impacts that make people concerned of its use. I will be performing a study on the benefits and negative impacts of using GM food’s. With the help of my study, you will be able to decide for yourselves if the use of GM foods for producing is sustainable in the future.
Background and Significance
The problem we are facing is that the demand for food is increasing at an alarming rate as population of the world is increasing. So, to keep up with this rate we humans have developed modern technique such as GM foods to allow us to increase our food productivity levels in the industry.
The use of this technique has yielded in greater productivity levels, however there are negative impacts due to the use of GM foods as well. I aim to perform research study about the draw backs of using GM foods and advantages of using GM foods as a technique to produce food. For this study I will be using key sources such as peer reviewed journals, online articles and reports. I plan to first understand the benefits and impacts of GM foods. Next, I will be researching for key statistics relating to GM foods in the industry. The key statistics include demand of GM foods, supply of GM foods and methods used to check GM foods safety. I will cover information from the past 10 years until today for my research. The reason why this research is important is because we humans are directly related to the impacts of GM food’s. Here’s a few major issues that I will cover in this research:
- The effect of GM foods on different types of soils and landscape.
- The relation between GM foods with the new diseases and allergies.
- The impact of using GM foods to the nutrients and minerals in foods.
- Impact of GM foods to productivity levels of industries.
- Methods used to check safety of GM foods.
- Consumer reaction to GM foods in the market.
In the past many researchers have performed study on GM foods. Here is my review on three academic peer reviewed journals I used for my research. I reviewed an article about how consumers react to genetically modified food. This article provides an overall picture of the consumer decision process in relation to GM food (Cost-Font, 2008). I learned through this article about the decision-making process consumers go through when purchasing GM foods. While the research paper talks in detail about consumer attitude when purchasing GM foods, there is lack of information about how Suppliers react to those attitudes by consumers.
Therefore, after reading this paper I decided to focus also on the reaction of suppliers to GM foods production. I researched an article about the benefits and problems of GM foods. I learned through this research paper about Agronomic benefits of GM foods. That is the increase in productivity levels of food output by using methods like plant breeding, crop rotation and pest control. Potential risks of GM foods are also explained in this paper. I learned about the Health risks to people due to the toxicity, allergenicity and genetic hazard of GM foods (Zhang, 2016). I think this article was very informative and well written to address the GM foods issue.
Another article I read was about the problems of genetically modified foods safety. This article evaluates the toxicity levels in GM foods and the possible mutagenic effects of these food products on the human body. I learned through this article about the modern molecular genetics method applied to access the safety of GM foods. However, the results from this strategy were not clear enough to make any conclusion about GM foods. Although it did introduce us to some of the important aspects of GM foods that we may be neglecting while testing to make sure they are safe. One of this aspect was the transfer of marker genes to human bodies (Levitsky, 2016). This article provides good insight about safety of GM foods.