Genetically Modified Food

Genetically Modified Food

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Genetically Modified Food


Genetically modified (GM) is widely available in the USA, but is
viewed with suspicion by the overwhelming majority or people in
Europe.

To meet the increasing food needs of a growing world population,
science has discovered the technique of genetically modifying plants
and crops to enhance crop yield and create superior and stronger
varieties of crops and fruits.

These genetically modified plants are used as medicines and vaccines,
foods and food ingredients, feeds and fibres. Controversies
surrounding G.M foods and crops commonly focus on human and
environmental safety, labelling and consumer choice, ethics, food
security, poverty reduction and conservation.

Some people regard this technology as potentially harmful to human
health because we do not know enough about the ways genes operate and
interact to be sure of what the outcome of any modification will be.
They worry that alterations could accidentally lead to substances that
are poisonous or trigger allergies.

So can we trust the food we eat?

All food products, novel or otherwise, are subject to a system of
regulation which should ensure safety and consumer confidence.

These regulations set standards that must be met. Testing procedures
are designed to pick up problems before products get to the market.
When we get ill as a result of eating food, it is usually because of
poor practice somewhere along the line.

BSE/CJD is a very good example of this: the rendering and abattoir
industries adopted ineffective procedures and failed to remove
specified meat products from the human food chain.

Remember that we the consumers also have responsibilities. One of the
reasons food poisoning cases have risen dramatically I recent years is
because we have failed to store and prepare food correctly in our own
kitchens.

How do I know what I am eating?

The UK Government, together with industry, is attempting to produce
better labelling of food- so that consumers know precisely what they
are buying, be it in a supermarket or restaurant.

The current rules state that GM food has to be labelled unless “

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neither protein or DNA resulting from genetic modification is
present.”

In plain terms, this means the following: if a crop was modified to
alter the composition of a food ingredient, for example starch or oil,
then the food will have to be labelled GM DNA.

The GM labelling rules should satisfy those who wish to exercise a
choice based on any perceived health threat, however the rules will
not satisfy those who object to GM foods on ethical or religious
grounds.

The Government has also promised a Food Standards Agency.

The link between food additives and GM foods ate the safety concerns
for human beings; there is a lack of evidence with regards to
toxicities and possible allergies. There are also valid concerns for
correct labelling both for GM food and food additives, people need to
be able to make a choice based on what information is available via
labels, food agencies and advertising.

Food additives and ingredients association



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