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One face of agriculture that we see scatered throughout the news today is that of genetically modified foods. This has an impact on many different aspects of the agriculture world. From the seed dealer, to the farmer that buys the seed, to the elevator that the farmer sells to; all are affected by the new technologies that are involved in this part of production agriculture.
Genetically modified foods have come under heavy fire lately. There are some countries that are against buying these types of foods. In the UK genetically modified foods are assesed by for safety by the best scientific esperts in the UK, Europe, the US and the rest of the world. This is to discard any doubt about the harm that can be caused by eating these foods. Genetically modified foods are not available for sale until they have undergone this complete safety process. Since genetically modified foods are a relatively new product, and any slight problem with them could effect a whole country, these tests are a very necessary precaution.
These safety tests are carried out because of the new specifications that were set forth with the Novel Foods Regulation . Begining in May of 1997, the Novel Foods Regulation set up a EU-wide pre-market system for all novel foods. A novel food is described as one that has not been eaten by EU consumers widely in the past. Genitically modified foods fall into this category. By setting up this program the EU hopes to keep its consumers safe from any possible side effects of any new food products.
There are a variety of ways in which genetic modification has helped food manufacturers. They can improve the nutritional value or the storage conditions of the food. Today there are only two genetically modified food ingredients that have been approved for use, these are GM soya and GM maize.
The government of the UK has commited itself to ensuring that the procedures that are used for the assesments of genetically modified foods are clear, open, and comprehensive.
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