Health Problems

Genetically modified foods: harmful or not? – The official site of programs Health, Live healthy with Elena Malysheva

The verbal battle around genetically modified foods are in the last years. Some scientists believe that the salvation of mankind, while others fear that their use could lead to unknown negative consequences for the body. Meanwhile, the General public, without going into the subject, believes that this “time bomb”, which causes genetic mutations in humans. We offer you to understand what genetic modification is dangerous, and whether she and a lot of it on our tables these products today.

What is the genetic modification of food?

Today’s science allows the use of genetic engineering techniques to “inject” into the genome of the donor plant and animal genes, pocenie from other organisms. For example, scientists from the University of Arizona sought a suitable mechanism to protect cotton from pests. They introduced into the genome of plants a gene of a certain bacteria, which produces substances that are dangerous for parasites. Cotton began to defend himself: its leaves become poisonous to pests.

Than genetic modification different from selective breeding?

Since ancient times people breed new varieties of plants and breeds of animals. So why do we need genetic modification if breeders can get a variety with all the right qualities?

First, the selectors only work with members of the same species. They crossed wheat with the wheat and the Apple tree with an Apple tree. No breeder would not be able to give the cotton of the ability of bacteria.

Secondly, in order to bring a new variety requires a very long time. Genetic engineering solves the task faster.

Genetically modified product is a mutant?

The answer is clear: genetically modified foods – is mutants. However, the word has acquired a negative connotation in our day. According to the definition of a mutant is simply the organism, the genotype of which is modified under the influence of external or internal environment. The changes by which man has historically adapts to the environment, is also a mutation, and they can be useful.

What does the acronym GMO?

We often use “products with GMO”, “GMO free”. What does this mean? GMO is an abbreviation for “genetically modified organism”. That is, for example, if a new potato variety created by using genetic engineering, the potatoes will be GMO. And the phrase “products of GMOs” is not quite correct.

What are genetically modified plants can be eaten?

In Russia approved the list of genetically modified plants that can be used for food production. They are less than 20 kinds, including potatoes, rice, soybeans, and several types of bacteria. Varieties of plants, in particular, are highly resistant to negative factors, so a win in the competition with “naturally” derived.

Dangerous genetically modified foods?

Frankly, scientists have not yet come to a definite conclusion. There are three main threats that could potentially carry genetically modified foods is:

  • allergiesthe. Is integrated into the genome a new gene, and therefore, in a plant start to synthesize new proteins. This can cause allergies.
  • toxicity. There’s always the threat that the new gene will be a source of toxic compounds. Therefore, all products obtained through genetic engineering, are carefully checked.
  • the ability to cause disease, including cancer. For example, there were animal studies that showed that those individuals who ate genetically modified corn were more likely to cure cancer. But the study found conducted properly.

Labeling genetically modified foods

Under Russian law, all products that contain genetically modified raw materials in the amount of more than 0.9% must be labeled accordingly.

Are there genetically modified animals?

When we talk about GMOs, most often referred to potatoes or corn. And whether there are genetically modified animals? Yes, they too withdrawn, and with different goals. One of the most famous examples is the creation of special varieties of mosquito in Brazil. “Normal” these mosquitoes are carriers of a dangerous virus zika. Modified mosquitoes do not reproduce, which reduces the insect population and the attenuation of the epidemic Zeke.