Assesing the safety of genetically modified foods

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Biology

Document 1

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2014) defines a genetically modified organism (GMO) as an organism whose genetic composition has been adjusted using any alternatives to the natural ways. This process of alteration is facilitated by modern biotechnology, which aids in genetic engineering or modification. Through the process of natural combination or mating, genes are conferred from one species to another, resulting in new breeds. Consequently, genetically modified foods (GMFs) are produced from or using genetically modified organisms (WHO, 2014). Ever since the adoption of the commercial sale of genetically modified foods in the United States in the year 1994, these foods have gained widespread popularity all over the world (Johnson and O’Connor, 2015). The study, mainly emphasizing on the response of the French towards GMOs, identified the following as key among the concerns that were raised by the general public regarding GMOs and GMFs: First, there was a fear among the French, that with the widespread adoption and use of GMFs all over the world.

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This, coupled with the fear of the unknown, led to massive opposition towards the use and consumption of GMFs. Also, the study, which relied mainly on data collected through interviews, established that the situation was further aggravated by the skepticism from influential organizations, especially non-governmental organizations and pro-environment groups such as Friends of Earth (Bonny, 2003). In a more recent study by Freeman, Genetically Modified Food: How Biotechnology Is Changing What We Eat, it emerged that GMFs are engineered in such a way that they are capable of developing disease-resistant genes. In the research study, which relied heavily on current research as well as the state of modern biotechnology, Freeman established that the intake of genetically modified foods had the possibility of catalyzing the emergence of a drug-resistant form of immunity among human beings (Freeman, 2009).

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In this context, a qualitative approach in data collection is considered more appropriate. Craig and Smith (2011) define qualitative research as a study in which an inductive process is employed within a natural setting to produce tangible discernment on certain experiences of the subjects as well as the practices and meanings based on the points of view of the people involved. A qualitative analysis, therefore, aims at assessing the impact of the general environment on the quality of life within a particular setting, as well as the potential effects of changes in the environment in the setting. Boddy (2016) asserts that such a type of research is relatively more complex since the focal point is at the individual level. As such the data collected is subjective and has to be analyzed with an in-depth perspective.

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GMFs have a negative impact on the reproductive system From the data collected through the interviews, an apparent trend emerged whereby couples that had been taking GMFs on relatively higher frequencies reported having fewer children, in addition to recurrence reproductive health issues such as low sperm count. III. Increased food production Despite the aforementioned drawbacks, it emerged that GMFs had been effectively used as supplements to conventional food products. Besides, it emerged that the GMFs provide nutritional supplements in some instances. These findings were consistent with those of Carter, et al. Besides, it increases the existing knowledge (or eradicate ignorance) about genetically modified foods. To Governments This research acts as call-up for governments to consider the identified risks of genetically modified foods on the health of the citizens.

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As such, it is essential in policy making as a guide towards health and safety of the citizens as part of government responsibility. References Bonny, S.  Why are most Europeans opposed to GMOs?: Factors explaining rejection in France and Europe. http://www. emeraldinsight. com/doi/abs/10. 1108/QMR-06-2016-0053 Craig, Jean V. , and Rosalind L. https://www. nature. com/articles/nrmicro1273 Freedman, Jeri.  Genetically Modified Food: How Biotechnology Is Changing What We Eat. New York, NY: Rosen Pub. &hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKE wjI6YC1xdjbAhWFbxQKHTqPCaEQ6AEIQDAE Lobo, Vijaya, et al. "Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. " Pharmacognosy reviews 4. https://www. ncbi. "An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research. " Critical reviews in biotechnology 34.

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