Genetically modified foods have made a big splash in news recently. Undeniably, shortage of world food stock has reared its ugly head in a past few years. This is not we do not have enough food to feed world population. We have endless food supply from all over the world like China, Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia. We are facing greater problem, a problem that just arise lately. We need another approach to overcome this problem, which is using genetically modified food (GMF).
What is genetically modified food? Basically, GM food is the modification that is done to specific animals and plants to improve them in certain aspects. The principle aim with Genetically Modified food is to combine desirable genes from various species to create new genetically-altered crosses with enhanced nutritional, productive and ecological value (Panse 2009). GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. Typically, genetically modified foods are transgenic plant products such as soybean, corn, paddy, and cotton seed oil.
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We have to look it in everyone and every aspect point of view: geography, social economy, human health, environment, and so much more. If we look further down to this topic, we will see that every country have their own opinion about this issue. Based on this aspect, surely GM food should not be promoted in South East Asia as it will give negative effects to the consumer's health, cause negative effects on environment and bring lost to small farmers.
This report will show clear prove why GM food not should be promoted in SEA. All the possible aspects will be covered to support this argument. The research must be specifically the SEA only, but the example can be taken from international company as they effect can be use worldwide.
2.0 BODY OF REPORT
2.1 Genetically modified food give negative effects to the consumer's health.
There are people out there claim that the product of genetically modified food is safe. The product is belief to have higher nutritional value as they contain more vitamin A and iron. The third world citizen will benefit from this as they are lack of nutrition which cause them night blindness and anemia. However, this is proven wrong because recent test state that even though Genetically Modified Food is rich in vitamin A, it is still not good for humans health as they lack of biodiversity. More important, they can cause allergenicity, give toxic effect and can cause cancer.
2.1.1 Genetically Modified Food can cause allergenicity.
One of the most disadvantage of genetically modified food is they can cause allergenicity. Allergenicity is a state where the human body cannot react in an adverse biological reaction when people consume certain food or chemicals. Genetically modified food is being made by changing the DNA of the food.DNA act like a blueprint of an organism. A single tiny change in DNA triad can cause massive damage to the plant characteristic. There will be some loss protein it the plant or excessive amount of certain protein. Loss of biodiversity in our food supply can cause food allergy (Human Genome Project, 2008). Human eat for nourishment and vitality, not for specific substance.
There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. Genetically modified food contains unnatural patenting of genetic codes- and our body will identify it as "broken link". Our body will identify this V as unnatural invasion, thus, it will trigger false alarm and our body will produce white cells and antibodies in responses. For example, in 1996, Soybean has been added with Brazil nut genes to provide the added protein Methiomine.
However, some people are so allergic with this nut, as they can suffer anaphylactic shock (same as severe bee sting reaction), which can cause death. This is proven that genetic engineering can cause the allergens from one food can be transferred to another. Therefore, each new genetically modified food produced contains many new potentially allergenic proteins. Therefore, intensive amount of test must be done to avoid possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies.
2.1.2 Genetically Modified Food can give toxic effect on consumers.
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Genetically modified food has also been proven to be able to direct or long term toxic effect on consumers. Toxic consumption can cause consumer to have various type of disease and very dangerous to human health. Scientist tent to add various chemical into food to modify them. One if it is by adding a bacillus thuringiensis (BT) in a paddy plant (Hall H, 2004). Even though this chemical can make paddy plant more nutrition and last longer, it can also cause toxin pollution when farmers use it in a large quantity. This BT is a highly toxic component which can be lead to infertility, auto immune disease, and cancer.
However, the problem consumer face is most of the test for Genetically Modified Food are normally carried out by biotech companies and the test are carried out under specific condition. Thus, the exact amount of toxic in GMF cannot be measured accurately as the test are not environmental friendly nor takes human health into account, (Fagan, 1995)
2.1.3 Genetically Modified Food can cause cancer.
Lastly, GMF can cause cancer to consumer. The twentieth century saw an incline of cancer case. Cancer case in Asia in the year 1900 is only about 1 out of 11 individual. Now, every 1 out of 2 men and 1 out of 3 get inflicted in their lifetime (Mellon, 2003). The cancer rates rose rapidly throughout the twentieth century to more than triple overall. This is all because the introduction GMF in the early twentieth century. GMF carries modified DNA, and this DNA is polluted by chemical substance. This chemical substance is harmful to human being as we know that too much exposure on the chemical can cause genetic mutation, and the cell will start to duplicate out of control.
For example, the two chemical samples found in soft drinks, ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate, will react and form benzene, an immensely potent carcinogen. This substance is very harmful to human and can influence our genes to mutate.
Therefore, GMF may oppose high risk to consumers. It is clearly shown that the effects can only be seen once the product has already in the market. This doesn't only effect the life of the consumer, but it also danger his or her generation. We have to do something now and keep our generation safe by providing them the significant information regarding the safety of GMF.