About GMOs: Post 2
The following is an archived post
There are a large number of concerns about genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering. Many feel that there has not been sufficient testing of the effects of this technology on both the environment and humans. Specific concerns about genetically modified organisms include:
Allergic reactions: One potential problem is that with known allergens; for example, inserting genes from nuts into other foods without the public’s awareness. There is also the fear that all of this playing around with genes could create new allergies.
Gene mutation: There are questions about the stability and integrity of organisms after forcing genes from one organism into another. Could this lead to abnormalities and further organism mutation? How would this affect human DNA?
Antibiotic resistance: Most GMO food contains antibiotic resistance “marker genes.” These help producers determine whether gene transfers have been successful in an organism (plant or animal). Similar to the use of antibiotics in the meat industry, many fear GMO food could make disease-causing bacteria even more resistant to antibiotics, which could increase the spread of disease throughout the world.
Loss of nutrition: Will these processes change the nutritional value of food?
Environmental damage: Natural pollination may lead to the spread of GMO pollen, pollinating other plants and randomly creating new species that would pass on the genetic modifications.Supporters of GMOs claim that the creation of “superior” crops can help to alleviate hunger and that they use fewer pesticides than traditional plants. But this type of monocropping in farming may be more problematic as far as genetic diversity and facing blights.
Also, GMO plants can require even more chemicals than other crops; weeds become resistant to pesticides, leading to further spraying (and thus environmental pollution, further safety concerns for farmers/farm workers, contamination of food).
The ultimate fear is that this foray into uncharted waters may not be able to be remedied, as it is difficult to “undo” DNA changes and mutations. Last, there is concern about consumer awareness and choice. The U.S. does not label GMO food.