Genetically Engineered Crops: The Benefits Outweigh the Risks

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In order to understand the controversy of genetically engineered crops one must understand what genetic engineering or genetic modification is: “GMO are organisms that are generated by combining genes of different species using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology. Resulting organisms are then said to be transgenic, genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM). This group of organisms includes... plants.” (Celec et al., 2005) The genetic modification of crops and plants was created so that crops could, “... protect themselves against insects and disease, to feed and vaccinate people at the same time, to flourish in poor soil and drought, or to improve the quantity and bioavailability of individual nutrients.” (Roberts, Struble, McCullum-Gomez, Wilkins, 2006). These benefits may seem to outweigh the risks and in reality they do, however this does not mean the consumer should not be notified of the risks they are taking. The hallmark of our free society demands that the consumer be able to choose whether or not they want to eat something that may have health risks product labeling that identifies GMO ingredients allows for consumers to choose a particular product while ensuring that the producer feel more at ease with the way they disclose information and promote their product. Genetically engineered crops have many risks ranging from mild to serious. The risks of food allergy is one more serious factor. “There are risks not only from the parent crop, but in addition the new transgenic product can be an allergen.” (Celec et al., 2005) The risk of food allergens from genetic engineering is evident in this case with Brazil nuts and soy beans. In this case genetically modified soy beans had been given a protein from Brazil nut... ... middle of paper ... ...base Ehrenfreund, M., Wheat With Engineered Gene Demonstrates Challenges for Researchers. (2013, May). Retrieved November 14, 2013, from Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Developed Using Bioengineering; Draft Guidance, (2013, August). Retrieved November 15, 2013, from Kaya, I. H. (2012). Genetically modified crops and human health. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 11(19), 3613-3617. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from Medwell Journals database. Roberts, K. S., Struble, M. B., McCullum-Gomez, C., Wilkins J. L. (2006). Use of a risk communication model to evaluate dietetics professionals’ viewpoints on genetically engineered foods and crops. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(5), 719-727. Retrieved November 15, 2013, from ScienceDirect database.
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