The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines food security as the situation when “all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Since Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) were introduced to the market in 1994, numerous controversies have emerged around advantages and disadvantages of GM technology. The goal of this paper is to examine whether GMOs contribute to promoting food security or exacerbate the problem of global hunger and food insecurity.
2. Understanding GMOs
Not an Extension of Natural Breeding
First of all, GM technology is not an extension of natural breeding. GMO proponents often claim that GMOs do not pose risks different from naturally bred crops. The proponents refer to the fact that people have been consuming selectively bred plants for hundreds of years and such food did not have any negative impact on human health. The anti-GMOs researchers explain that the difference is that selective breeding is the process of intraspecies gene swapping, while the GM technology allows scientists to insert into a plant 's genome a single gene from another species of plant or even from a bacterium, virus or animal. The opponents argue that the consequences of consumption of GM food may not have an immediate effect and might be observed even generations later.
It is not natural, as the particular combinations of genes put together in the GM gene cassette and the manner in which it is inserted into the host organism does not occur in nature. Genetic engineering can be seen as intentional horizontal gene transfer. Reproduction, in cont...
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...ess that encourages developers of genetically engineered plants to consult with FDA before marketing their products.” Thus, FDA claims that GM products do not require mandatory prior testing as they are “generally recognized as safe” and bases its conclusion about the GM food safety on a voluntary pre-market review report that a GMO producer provides.
The article “GM crops and the rat digestive tract: A critical review” analyzed published studies for GM crops that were approved since 1994 (Figure 1). The paper analyzes the relationship between GM crops and health focusing on histopathological data of the digestive tract in rats.
The authors reviewed studies referred to the most common commercialized GM crops (crops contain herbicide tolerance through the EPSPS gene and insect resistance through cry1Ab or cry3Bb1 genes).
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