Genetically modified foods are those that are derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). So far, we are not eating animal modified in such ways. However, animals are being fed on genetically modified crops. In plants, their genetic orientation is modified to increase the size or to improve the yield. In other words, the genetic makeup of one plant is modified by adding genes for one or two beneficial traits from another.
Benefits of genetically modified food
Apart from better crop yields, these crops are also cheaper to grow as they are sturdier and can stand up to weather extremes. In turn, this increases the crop production rates and that can significantly impact food production particularly in countries facing food shortages.
Genetically modified food are mostly of high quality and are more nutritious as in most cases, genetic modification is done to help battle malnutrition by producing foods such as vegetables and fruits that are high in the exact nutrients that are needed.
Disadvantages of genetically modified food
One of the leading cons for GM foods are people with allergies. Considering the mixing and matching of genes, it gets complicated for people with allergy concerns if in case they are allergic to one of the crops. GM blurs the boundaries of what people with allergies can eat and what they cannot eat.
Apart from people with allergies, there is also the concern about how GM foods will affect the overall food chain.
There is also the major unknown of GM foods being responsible for gene transfer. There is the danger of the modified genes escaping into the wild. For instance, a herbicide-resistant gene from a commercial crop may cross into the wild weed population thus creating weeds that are impossible to kill with herbicides.