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Myths and Realities about Genetically Modified Food: A Risk-Benefit Analysis
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: March 29, 2022 10:14AM

Scientists from Spain
conducted a risk-benefit analysis to review the impact of
genetically modified (GM) products on
human, animal, and environmental health. Despite the limited data
on their long-term implications that make it difficult to assess
the long-term risk of consuming GM Crops, scientific
evidence shows that GM crop use did not bring any harm to date.
Rather, economic, environmental, and health benefits for the
public have resulted from GM crop commercialization.
The analysis helped
identify the benefitz of GM crops that can
contribute to the global challenges being faced today like
attaining food security for the growing world population. GM crops
help increase crop yields without converting more land to
agricultural land. Their use has also led to a decrease in
insecticide use and lower greenhouse emissions. Studies show that
the elimination of GM crops in farmer fields can lead to an
increase in the global cultivation area resulting in an increase
in greenhouse gas emissions that can aggravate climate change. GM
crops also have an economic impact wherein higher yields, improved
productivity, and cost reductions have resulted in economic
advantages around the world.
However, public
acceptance of GM crops remains a challenge as consumers are still
skeptical about them despite scientific data. The risk-benefit
analysis then reviewed recent public surveys on the risks and
benefits of GM crops. It was identified that skepticism was formed
based on two factors. First, on moral institutions and scientific
arguments that suggest GM foods are not effective. Second,
addressing emotional concerns by means of another emotional
concern. Despite the distrust from consumers, results of the
public surveys suggest that there is a growing public acceptance
of genetic engineering. Thus, it was suggested that a strong
intervention with the population is needed to address their
moralized attitudes towards GMOs.
To conclude, the
analysis found evidence that GM crops can help overcome the global
food crisis and environmental problems. They can also serve as
nutraceuticals and edible vaccines without the need for
broad-scale industrial facilities for production. Thus, GM foods
need to be treated as traditional foods and food safety needs to
be prioritized over the methods by which GM traits and properties
were incorporated. The researchers also emphasized that debates
over GM foods should be based on scientific evidence rather than
emotions. Consumer health benefits need to be made known to the
public to dispel skepticism related to GMOs.
Applied Sciences
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