Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are animal organisms, plants, bacteria or fungi that, when grown, insert a foreign nucleic acid fragment into their DNA that is responsible for producing the desired trait in the body, for example, resistance to the Colorado potato beetle in potatoes.
Products containing GMOs have received the abbreviation GMP. By means of genetic engineering, it is possible to obtain a wide variety of properties, to combine the incompatible, to grow such types of plants or animal breeds that are beyond the power of the most experienced breeders.
The problem of the spread of GMOs has both supporters and opponents.
One side, with the help of genetic engineering, it is possible to create varieties that are resistant to the action of harmful environmental factorsgrowing on poor soils, unpretentious to care, with high yields, reducing the cost of such products to a minimum.
Besides, can significantly enrich the composition of familiar productsby adding, say, the human milk gene to regular rice. Proponents of transgenic products believe that using the forces of genetic engineering, you can get a perfectly balanced menu with minimal effort, time and money.
At present, it is already difficult to imagine our existence without the services of genetic engineering. About 25% of all pharmacological products are produced on the basis of GMOs (including some vaccines, insulin, antibiotics). Over 70% of the soybeans produced in the US are GMP.
An urgent problem, however, is the ability to control such production: Will the newly acquired property have any side effects on human health and the ecosystem as a whole?
Opponents of GMOs argue that foods that have been genetically modified may not be safe.
The English scientist Arpad Pusztai conducted a study on laboratory rats, which was then repeated by his colleague Stanley Yuen. Specialists fed animals with transgenic potatoes. The experimental rodents did not die, did not glow in the dark, and did not grow an extra pair of limbs. However, such a diet adversely affected their health: pathological changes were found in the digestive system of animals, the functioning of the liver, kidneys and even the brain.
There are other studies confirming the toxic and allergic effects of genetically modified foods on the body of various animals. However, these studies can not always be considered reliable for humans. There is still not enough data to give a definite answer whether transgenic products are harmful or beneficial.
The truth is in the package!
So far, it is clear that the production of products obtained by genetic engineering is often more profitable than natural and natural, which creates fierce competition in the market. And for various reasons, the manufacturer does not always inform the buyer that GMOs are hidden behind a lower price and excellent commercial qualities.
The largest GMP producers are the USA, Argentina, Canada, China and South Africa. The GMP weight is especially high among legumes – corn and soy, which is added to dairy, meat products, sauces and spices.
Despite all the contradictions of scientists and politicians, each of us should have a choice. For this you need to carefully follow the labeling on the packaging of products.
Particular care should be taken with the use of transgenic products in baby food, the nutrition of pregnant women, the elderly and people suffering from severe chronic diseases.