With the raising health issues such as obesity

With the raising health issues such as obesity, diabetes, weight management, and new cases of new cancer, concerns have been raised on production of the food we consume. The concerns are mostly on the genetically modified crops, are they are healthy or not and the risks associated with their consumption. This issue has been an ongoing debate between the public, government, production companies and scientific research institutes. Despite the increase in population globally and risks associated with the use of pesticides and the hunger calamities in most of the developing countries, opinions and research are still ongoing to establish claims of the benefits of embracing the genetically modified organisms as opposed to the consequences on human, the environment and the animals.
Increase of food production concept through gene modification was borrowed from the traditional method of breeding where transferring of individual genes was done from one plant to another and one animal to another as opposed in genetic engineering where the transfer occurs on either organism. The difference between the tradition method and the current method is that it took much longer time and was self-limiting but the end results are same as genetic engineering. Gene modification is classified in biotechnology field which is the backbone of science that controls all the categories of gene modifications technology and has not only been used in medical and pharmaceutical industry but also embraced in agriculture. Despite the approval of genetic modified foods in the market by the government, concerns are still raised over the long-term health effects on our health as well as the imposed effects brought by the manipulation of gene on animals and the environment as the ecosystem in general.
According to Thierry Vrain, a former scientist in agricultural research in Canada, the basis of genetic engineering is just a hypothesis that suggests addition or subtraction of certain genes leading to creation of specific effects that later the same gene modification results to allergens or toxic organisms. His view is supported by the disapproval on the safety of genetic modified organisms from leading scientists challenging the truth on claims of increase in yield production and safety of consuming the modified foods. Natural reproduction mechanisms during gene transfer in animals are not followed instead the horizontal gene transfer method is used resulting in unpredicted and unexpected qualities caused by the injection of totally different species of genes to another specie. This creates assumptions of gene traits used as a method of attaining a particular organism while basing it on hypothesis that has been proven to be wrong.
Michael Antoniou and John Fagan who are both PhD holders stated that traditional grown foods are more nutritious compared to genetically modified foods that cause health risks in the future, cause harm to the environment, are not adequately regulated and cannot be termed as world hunger solution. Further on the issue, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine in 2009 confirmed more on the issue through several studies conducted on animals, The serious health problems and risks associated with genetic modified foods includes infertility, problems in immunity, aging acceleration, irregular insulin levels and major changes in organs and the gastric system. Despite the warnings, the regulation of genetic modified foods in the USA is not strongly enforced with the public having little or no knowledge concerning its risks. Furthermore, seed production companies like Monsanto and Syngenta never allow independent researchers to access their seeds on legal protection claims and patent laws inhibiting research conduction and thus limiting the monitoring of the approved item by any country for any potential effects on health.
Increase in chemical pollution on water, soil and air have been observed with the increased usage of chemicals on genetically modified crops. For instance, the Bt has been injected in certain crops to protect them against specified insect pests but on the other hand it has reduced the efficiency of the pesticide caused by increase in resistant. In years to come we will experience severe problems in environment with the germination of superweeds that are genetically enhanced due to inoculation of altered genes in commercial plants that are making their way through the weed’s population and modified crops. Hybrids of weedy relatives have been formed from leading crops in the world through genetic modified plants which tend to pass the traits along creating more damaging and persistent weeds. To control them, more powerful and toxic herbicides have been used by the farmers resulting to soil nutrient erosion.
Tests have not been done on any of the genetic modified crops to out rule the impact they have on the ecosystem and biodiversity. A good example is the engineered crop that produces insecticides or Bt toxins, these affects all insects including non-targeted ones disrupting the food chain for the bats and birds affecting their reproduction and the ecosystem imbalance. The USA government has done nothing to regulate and ensure the crops are safe and cause no environmental harm instead they have allowed growing and selling of crops varieties carrying gene alterations. Keep in mind that once the environment is polluted biologically, there will be irreversible results and the ecosystem will forever be changed. The biological contamination of organic crops and products of agriculture by the wild species causes reproduction, dissemination and mutation that never degrades as opposed to how chemical pollution does.
Genetic modified organisms on the other hand come with several benefits, one of them is the development of varieties of seeds resisting harsh conditions of weather and certain insects offering a wide range of characteristics that are desirable to the farmers. These additional characteristics are developed through advance techniques of breeding involving biotechnology use. The government agencies that includes regulatory boards such as the World Health Organization, the US. National Academy of Science and the American Medical Association have done evidence examination and concluded that the consumption of genetically modified foods is safe and less risky than foods grown through modification of plant breeding.
The independent companies and scientists who develop crops through biotechnology, conducts tests for the safety of the food and environment while the scientists at the regulatory agencies set crop regulations after careful review of the data. The seed production companies like Monsanto submit seeds to the regulatory agencies in the country of interest before selling them to undergo approval. Every country has their own rule in labelling food but in the USA it’s a requirement by the FDA to label all the ingredients, list differences in composition, safety or nutrition of the product.
Modified crops have greater yield production through weed and insect resistance. This causes decrease in fossil fuel used, by reducing application of pesticides, protect soil and water resources through decreased tillage, providing nutritional benefits such as soybean oils that contain high oleic values that reduce intake of saturated fat and the production of omega-3which contain long chains of fatty acids. Since the adoption of biotech crop production in 1996, there is no evidence confirming any harm to animals or humans and as assured by the experts in food safety field, genetically modified crops are very safe as the conventional crops. No evidence of allergen introduction has been reported in the modified foods thus the risk is of any new introduction of protein allergen to human diet is very minimal.
Based on the research done, the effects of embracing genetic modified organisms outweigh the benefits. Distinct impact on the environment in long term causes instability of the ecosystem resulting in extinction of various food chains and species in turn affecting food production, human and animal health and growth. More contamination of water, air and soil has been caused through creating cycles to curb resistance of crops creating more dependency of chemicals in the agricultural industry thus causing more toxic air, soil and water pollution and total alteration of the ecosystem.
Next time you walk into a grocery store make a wise choice concerning your health, will you go for the modified organisms’ products and kill your body or will you go for the healthy option? As a farmer who is trying to increase your food production, will you consider the genetic modified seeds that may be resistant to diseases for now and later decrease your production by harming the environment or will you go for the conventional method of animal and plant breeding. The choices are in our hands and will determine the future. It’s up to us to either build or break our ecosystem.