Genetically Modified Foods ?

Genetically modified food (GM) has become the subject of discussion in academic, research, media, and scientific circles. It basically means food that has been made either for animals or human beings using the recent technology in biotechnology, genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, or basically the gene technology (Thieman & Palladino, 2009).

The main characteristic which has greatly contributed to the popularity of GM foods is the fact that they contain desired characteristics like the required nutrition content. Nonetheless, the safety issue has become a matter of concern, especially due to the fact that various researches that are being conducted are revealing contradicting results..

It is true that there are numerous benefits and risks tied to the consumption of genetically modified foods, but the main question is, should they be eaten. And if they should be, is labeling necessary?

Apart from enriching some food crops, genetic engineering is also used to remove some allergens present in some food. By so doing, the large numbers of people who are not able to benefit from such foods due to allergy are able to consume them without any adverse effects.

Genetically Modified Foods and their Impact on Human Health

Health risks of genetically modified foods

As genetically modified (GM) foods are starting to intrude in our diet concerns have been expressed regarding GM food safety. These concerns as well as the limitations of the procedures followed in the evaluation of their safety are presented. Animal toxicity studies with certain GM foods have shown that they may toxically affect several organs and systems. The review of these studies should not be conducted separately for each GM food, but according to the effects exerted on certain organs it may help us create a better picture of the possible health effects on human beings. The results of most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive effects and may alter the hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters. However, many years of research with animals and clinical trials are required for this assessment. The use of recombinant GH or its expression in animals should be re-examined since it has been shown that it increases IGF-1 which may promote cancer.

The Causal Model of Public Acceptance of Genetically Modified Food: An Invariance Analysis Table

Descriptive statistics of the sample.

CharacteristicClassificationNumberSample (%)Population (%) test ( value)
GenderMale48344.351.20.982 (0.322)
Female608 55.751.2
Age15–29 years and below52347.942.9
30–50 years44742.342.30.902 (0.637)
30–50 years12114.814.8
Type of living areaRural inhabitant58553.655.90.081 (0.776)
Urban inhabitant50646.444.1
Education backgroundPrimary education18316.827.7
Junior high school42739.140.6
High school (including technical secondary school)25423.317.54.744 (0.192)
College degree and above (including junior college)22720.814.2
Monthly income (Chinese yuan)<300084377.3%Not available
3001–500020418.7%Not available
>5001444.0%Not available
Knowledge1-4 (LK)24122.1Not available
7-8 (HK)42939.3%
The Causal Model of Public Acceptance of Genetically Modified Food: An Invariance Analysis Table

Note. LK = low knowledge level group; HK = high knowledge level group. Source: National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China, 2016, 2015 national 1% population sampling survey main data bulletin.

In a region like Japan, typically the government caused it to be a new law to try just about all the genetically revised food, although in the beginning, it was completed over a voluntary schedule. Since both types of food are found in the market, the preference of normal food in on the increase while compared to the desire of the genetically modified food.

In some sort of country like The european union, the us government requires of which genetically modified foodstuff be labeled, though information illustrates of which the public has got lost rely upon typically the regulatory measures involving the government. Throughout countries where genetically modified food is definitely banned, smuggling usually takes place so that typically the food still detects its way straight into such countries.

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. Currently available GM foods stem mostly from plants, but in the future foods derived from GM icroorganisms or GM animals are likely to be introduced on the market. Most existing genetically modified crops have been developed to improve yield through the introduction of resistance to plant diseases or of increased tolerance of herbicides. GM foods can also allow for reductions in food prices through improved yields and reliability.

In the future, genetic modification could be aimed at altering the nutrient content of food, reducing its allergenic potential or improving the efficiency of food production systems. All GM foods should be assessed before being allowed on the market. FAO/WHO Codex guidelines exist for risk analysis of GM food. 

On 21 August 2020, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an order requiring a “non-GM origin and GM-free certificate”, issued by the competent national authority of the exporting country, to accompany all imports of 24 listed food products to India, to become effective beginning 1 January. The date was later revised to 1 March.

The tolerance limit for accidental presence of GM is 1% of the imported food crop consignments. The regulation does not apply to processed food at present.

Genetically modified food

The majority of present genetically modified crops have been engineered to increase output by introducing disease resistance or increased herbicide tolerance. GM foods can potentially help to lower food prices by increasing yields and ensuring consistency.

In the future, genetic modification could be used to change food’s nutritious content, reduce allergenic potential, or increase the efficiency of food production systems. Before being allowed on the market, all GM foods need be evaluated. For risk assessments of GM foods, there are FAO/WHO Codex guidelines.

Commonly available genetically modified foods

Of the three gm food crops in India — brinjal, mustard and potato — awaiting permission for large-scale field trials and seed production, in 2006, bt brinjal became the first one to get geac approval. However, these attempts to introduce Bt brinjal which did not materialise and the only GM crop that is allowed to be imported is cotton.

Later in 2021, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released draft regulations stating that no one can manufacture or sell any food products or food ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without prior approval.

1. Corn

 Bt corn is a genetically modified organism (GMO) that generates proteins that are poisonous to specific insect pests but not to humans, pets, cattle, or other animals. These are the same proteins used by organic farms to manage insect pests, and they are safe for other beneficial insects like ladybugs. GMO Bt corn minimizes the requirement for insecticide spraying while still protecting crops against insect harm. While some GMO maize is used in processed foods and beverages, the majority of it is used to feed livestock, such as cows and fowl, such as chickens.


2. Soybean

The majority of GMO soy is used to feed animals, mostly poultry and livestock, as well as to make soybean oil. It’s also employed in processed meals as an ingredient (lecithin, emulsifiers, and proteins).


3. Cotton

GMO cotton was developed to be resistant to bollworms and was important in the revival of the Alabama cotton industry. GMO cotton is not only utilized to generate cottonseed oil, which is used in packaged goods and many restaurants for frying, but it also supplies a consistent source of cotton for the textile sector. Cottonseed meal and hulls containing GMOs are also utilized in animal feed.

4. Potato

GMO potatoes have been developed to be resistant to insect pests and disease. Furthermore, some GMO potato varieties have been designed to resist bruising and browning, which can occur when potatoes are packaged, stored, transported, or even chopped in the kitchen. While browning the potato does not affect its quality, it frequently leads to food being thrown away unnecessarily because people incorrectly believe browned food is damaged.

5. Pappaya


The Ringspot virus illness nearly wiped out Hawaii’s papaya harvest, virtually destroying the papaya industry in the process. The Rainbow papaya is a GMO papaya that has been developed to withstand the ringspot virus. 

Benefits of genetically modified foods

The developed plants that are disease-and drought-resistant and require fewer resources from the environment. Pesticides are used less frequently. It causes an increased food supply at a lower cost and with a longer shelf life. They include plants and animals that grow faster. Genetically modified food has better quality, such as fried potatoes that release less of a cancer-causing chemical. They are also medicinal foods with the potential to be utilized as vaccinations or other medications.

Risks associated with genetically modified food

Foods that can induce an allergic or hazardous reaction are created. In addition genetic changes that be unexpected or hazardous. Inadvertent gene transfer from a GM plant or animal to a plant or animal that was not meant to be genetically modified. In some cases the foods that aren’t as nutritious as others.

The scientists specifically warned that genetic engineering of foods could result in “increased levels of known naturally occurring toxicants, appearance of new, not previously identified toxicants, and increased capability of concentrating toxic substances from the environment (e.g., pesticides or heavy metals),” as well as “increased capability of concentrating toxic substances from the environment (e.g., pesticides or heavy metals). Long-term toxicological tests should be necessary before GM foods are marketed, according to these FDA scientists. GM foods are said to be unstable.

Arun Kumar

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology,
Meerut 250110 (India)

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