GMOs - are artificial products as harmful as they say?

"Genetically modified food is very dangerous" - one of the statements, which is firmly seated in the heads of people. It also applies to any products grown artificially. Do such products really harm health?

The idea of ​​genetic modification of products did not originate from scratch. Research in this area has been authorized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for the preservation and use of genetic potential in agriculture and the food industry. And he was motivated by the growing food crisis and the desire to feed most of the population with high-yielding foods at minimal cost. Where did the population’s fear of GMOs (GMF) come from?

Inoculation with genes from other species has become common practice for breeders.

Under genetically modified organisms currently understand any objects of the living world that have been modified using genetic engineering methods. This definition includes animals, plants and microorganisms.

An inexperienced man in the street immediately presents gloomy laboratories in which scientists dissect animals and fruits with vegetables, introducing some kind of deadly genes to humans. Far from it. Just when creating the GMF using the genome of completely unexpected organisms, quite earthly and healthy. For example, a scorpion gene was “transplanted” into potatoes, and the Colorado potato beetle began to avoid it. The shark gene made tomatoes resistant to cold, etc.

The appearance of such hybrids is nothing more than fantasy

Unusual combinations and combinations of genes lead to the fact that familiar products sometimes get an incredible color, shape, size and properties. And this is scary because words like “mutation” and “radiation” come to mind. Of course, there is something in common with mutation processes as changes in the genotype and artificially derived GMO products. Only the first is an often uncontrollable process, and the second is a controlled, pursuing a specific goal. For example:

  • some artificially cultivated crops are resistant to adverse weather conditions and pests;
  • they are more fruitful, tastier and more attractive than natural species;
  • GMPs are stored longer and do not lose their nutritional properties;
  • Vitamins and genes of medicinal plants are introduced into modified products, which allows to obtain useful and nutritious products.

Getting new varieties using genes from other species has become frightening

People far from genetics see danger in several properties of GMOs at once. Firstly, the very fact of crossing a "pineapple with a rhinoceros", that is, absolutely incompatible organisms, is surprising and alarming. Can someone unequivocally declare the safety of such experiments?

The Directorate General of the European Commission for Science and Information published a report combining information from 500 independent research groups. They studied the GMF for 25 years and found that the products obtained in this way are no less dangerous than those derived from conventional breeding. Nevertheless, some scientists still evaluate GMOs as potentially dangerous.

GMPs sometimes penetrate store shelves without indicating the modified component.

The second reason for which bright and not perishable products try not to buy, is that people are afraid of "infection" by unknown and alien genes, which can cause serious allergic reactions. Some believe that the use of GMOs in the body begins the synthesis of foreign proteins, and this can provoke cancer or reduce immunity.

Biologists point to the rupture of the food chain - fruits that do not rot and vegetables that do not eat; pests deprive insects of food, birds in turn, etc. However, many species suffer from human activity - an exact link between GMO products and a decrease in the number of certain species was not found.

Suspicion is also caused by the extremely low cost of such products - 5-6 times lower than their natural counterparts.

So, what are the myths about GMOs successfully existed and were subsequently debunked:

  • GMP is absolutely dangerous and deadly for humans.. There are no 100% data on the harm and direct danger to humans of genetically modified food, and it is not foreseen in the near future. Need regular research for 40-50 years. For this person you need to put in sterile conditions and feed, say, only artificial corn. The only question is what will make him feel bad earlier - from isolated life or corn.

  • Transgenic products are not as tasty as natural.. A more subjective criterion does not pick up. Some people think that mutated tomatoes give away fish. The roots of this myth lie in the fact that initially all experiments were aimed at improving the appearance, increasing yields and shelf life.

  • GMOs are beneficial only to large corporations that profit from citizens.. The main consumers of “artificial products” are small farmers who are really interested in buying cheap varieties resistant to pests. Choose - or fields and crops covered with pesticides, or relatively "pure" (but modified) products. For a farmer, the most important thing is to sell the crop, and by what means it is secondary to get it.

  • From "their" products from the garden will never harm. Very controversial statement. Remember at least about the epidemic and the massive death from ergot, Escherichia coli. Surely there are those who at least once poisoned mushrooms from the "neighboring and well-known fishing line." And what about salmonella in chicken and nitrates in watermelons? Not one or two people become victims of "natural" products every year.

  • Gene exchange is a malicious progression. In fact, living organisms often exchanged genes in the process of evolution. It just had a slow and somewhat different form.

  • Transgenic products do not check for safety. It's true. But every day they are consumed by millions of people, as well as using mobile phones and driving in transport.

  • Classical selection safer transgenic experiments. Breeding, which has been known since the days of ancient Egypt, was often carried out without exact knowledge, at random. Culture with the necessary characteristics was derived after many generations and presented as the pinnacle of the development of human thought. Genetic engineering has achieved surgical precision, since the genes that are needed are introduced. But, again, in the long term and on the effects on humans, the result is not always predictable.

  • GMO banned in all civilized countries. One of the first countries to actively adopt "new generation products" was the United States. Canada, Brazil and Argentina, almost all of Europe, China and India, Australia confidently support them in this matter. It is easier to list those who do not support the "cheap food" program - these are mainly the poorest and most hungry countries in Africa.

It is almost impossible to distinguish "by eye" a genetically modified product from a juicy, natural and grown in greenhouse conditions. Sometimes, the fact that in our supermarkets 50-80% of imported fruits, vegetables, and greens have other types of genes is cited as a defining characteristic. Raw "our" products can be seen by how quickly they begin to deteriorate and lose their presentation.

If the store is a single transgenic variety, then all the fruits will be the same, as if cloned. But the "variegated", the presence of ripe and immature fruits, of different sizes and shapes, rather indicates that the product is natural.

However, do not think that in the market, "from grandmothers" you buy only natural vegetables and fruits. After all, the same beautiful "homemade" tomatoes can be grown from seeds of transgenic varieties. You also do not show packaging with seeds from which the products were grown?

GMO is banned in only a small number of countries.

Actually, not only vegetables or fruits can be transgenic. Sausages, sausages, pancakes and dumplings remain the leaders in GMO content. Then go baby food, bakery and confectionery, sweets, ice cream, sweet sparkling water and much more. The only thing that has so far avoided gene modification is buckwheat.

And even if you decide to abandon artificial products, you will not always have an objective opportunity to do this. After all, the presence of GMOs is not always indicated and not on all labels. In addition, you do not know what you feed at a party, dining room or another place. No, no, yes, and a piece of mutated food will leak into the body. Therefore, eat what you find tasty and useful, looking, of course, at the labels, but not considering it as a panacea.

There is nothing wrong with such a strawberry - just the genes responsible for color are replaced

Thus, there is no consensus among the world community about the usefulness or harmfulness of GMOs. This phenomenon is still too young, like mobile communications, and personal computers. Perhaps the negative consequences will manifest themselves in 30-50 years or in another generation. But it is possible that they will in no way disturb those who, "because of their youth," have tried GMF, and will occupy their niche in the food market, which is cheap but absolutely safe for health.

Watch the video: Are GMOs Good or Bad? Genetic Engineering & Our Food (February 2020).