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Genetically Modified Foods
Are the Advantages of Genetically Modified Foods Enough to Overcome the Dangers of Genetic Engineering?
Food producers believe in the advantages of genetically modified foods (for improving food growth and production). Understand the significant dangers of genetic engineering; and balance those with benefits of genetic engineering. Are the advantages enough to risk our food supply?
Genetically modified foods (GM foods) are not good for you, or for the planet. Yet genetically modified crops are becoming very common. So what are the advantages of GM foods?
Genetically Modified Foods:
GM foods are the subject of much debate. The argument surrounding the need for, and safety of, genetically modified crops (also known as GM crops), and the inclusion of GM ingredients in food, has been going on for over a decade.
Despite strong opposition from consumers and campaigners in the UK and EU, the biotechnology companies backed by many EU member state governments, including the UK, are moving forward with their GM crops agenda.
Time and money are spent on growing genetically modified crops; and on trying to convert those individuals and organizations lobbying against GM crops and foods.
However, not all governments are pro-GM. In 2007, Austria, an EU member state, defied some of the EU member governments and refused to allow genetically modified corn to be grown in their country.
Several other member states backed them. The EU is not giving up though and, along with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), USA, Canada and others, continues to press Austria. It seems that those in power are on a mission to put GM foods on the consumer plate.
Benefits of Genetic Engineering: Feeding the World:
The advantages of genetically modified foods: GM advocates push the view that the only way to 'feed the world' is by growing GM crops. This system, they say, is safe, cheap, faster, and gives a greater yield.
Nothing to do with making massive profits for the corporations who sell it then? In fact the reason people are starving in this world is that they can't get access to food - not that there isn't enough food to go around.
In the seventies and eighties, we had people starving in Ethiopia. Was that because they weren't using GM to grow their crops? No, it was because the corrupt leadership sold much of the grain abroad and allowed landowners to take ownership of the rest. Grain prices doubled and the farmer who grew it in the first place was unable to afford it.
The African people have been the greatest sufferers of starvation. They have also suffered greatly, without a break, from war. The two are of course linked. Wars, and civil unrest, in Africa have consistently led to starvation of its people.
Women, children, the old and the infirm have nothing to eat. That's because all the food goes to those who are doing the fighting. The non-combatants are cut right out of the food supply chain.
Foreign aid, sent in when food cannot be grown because of land destruction, goes to the fittest and strongest as soon as it arrives in the country. That's when it isn't diverted elsewhere, for profit, by corrupt officials.
There is plenty of food without needing to resort to genetically modified crops; the reality is that the food is grown to make a profit for the organizations who own the land. Africa, and other hungry nations, simply can't afford the price of food. It is not a lack of food abundance that is the issue.
Dangers of Genetic Engineering: Is GM safe?
GM supporters are saying that research has been carried out and that GM foods and crops are safe for consumption. However, as the anti-GM campaigners point out, this research, lacks a certain credibility?
What is genetic modification anyway? In terms of its application on crops and in food it is a new and unknown quantity; new, because we have yet to have enough history to understand the potential environmental health risks and unknown, because the research on this science is kept very confidential.
For many who think of GM crops and foods, the image of Frankenstein arises; a monster made of disparate parts, created because his maker could create him, a monster that grows frightened of his own image and reacts destructively. Genetically modified foods now go by the name of Frankenfood!
By implication, the argument against genetically modified foods is that you are 'messing with nature' and that there will be a negative impact on humans, animals, plants and land.
By showing the dangers of GM, the benefits of certified organic food become clearer.
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