The Genetically Engineered Food Biology Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

When talking about food, most people think that plants should be grown in the fields and meat should come from animals. But now, a new technology brings us in a new world. Genetically engineered food, also known as genetically modified food (GM) food, are edible plants and meats that have been modified in order to be better for people. These kinds of food can be produced in a laboratory and have the ability grow without any soil or physical animals. Since the development of genetically engineered food, people have become concerned with the safety of GM food in comparison to regular food. Because of this, more scientists and consumers have begun to focus on the safety of GM foods. They have done numerous experiments and research in order to find the result. Since there is no official evidence which can prove whether GM food is safe or not, the possibility still exist that the genetically engineered food could be dangerous because of the possibility of allergic responses and toxicity, harmful influenced in organisms, and negative impacts on environment.

In 1994, the first genetically modified food called Flavr Savr tomato was sold legally in the market which was invented by a California company. As the time goes on, on the one hand, GM food is becoming more and more popular in people's life. On the other hand, it is always a controversial in academic area. Scientists point out that the understanding of GM food is limited and it may lead to some problems.

Allergic responses are the most important problem that it may cause. Because of the different original structure of plants that genetically engineered food has, it can be hard for human body to absorb. As a result, it can up-regulate allergens. Scientists have done a lot of experimental and theoretical research to find out why GM food could causes allergic responses. So far, the most convincing reason is that the changing of gene may lead to increasing or decreasing the elements inside food, which people may not adapt. When GM food "enter" human body, it is considered threaten. Automatically, some of the organs and tissues may secrete protein to attack it. Thus, the possible allergic response makes genetically engineered food dangerous.

In addition, scientists are also worried about the toxicity of genetically engineered food. As allergic responses, the new gene will bring unpredictable effects. If the content of nutrition is increasing because of changing of gene, it may develop in opposite direction which is poison. In fact, a lot of farm animals that are fed by genetically engineered food have already developed some kinds of anomalies. Scientists believe that if people absorb GM food, there is a strongly possibility that these negative effects, such as allergy and toxicities, show up and affect people's lives.

Together with the possible allergic responses and toxicity, the possible harmful alteration to organisms is the second reason to explain why genetically engineered food could be dangerous. In order to prove it, many scientists and engineers have done plenty of experiment. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, in 1999, published a test report done by Jennifer Worth and some other scholars. They divided rats into two groups. One group was fed on GM potatoes and another group was not fed on GM potatoes. After comparing the difference, they came up a result that some changes on rats' organs occurred. "Illustrating abnormalities in the rats fed on GM potatoes, namely: thickening of the stomach mucosa, hyperplasia of cells in the jejunum, lengthening of the jejunal crypts, lymphocytic infiltration in the jejunal epithelium, mucosal binding randomly dispersed throughout the gut, depleted caecal mucosal thickness, colonic enlargement." Also, GM food may cause high level of white blood cells, and some rats even died because of it. Moreover, it is a disaster if people eat GM food. Some scientist point out that the negative impacts are even worse for human body and may show up in plenty of decades.

The last important reason for the issue around genetically engineered food is that it can cause negative effects on the environment. Because of changing of gene, nutrition in plants may extreme increase. Therefore, this kind of plants may have new stronger weeds that can travel further and longer and grow up easier. In addition, they can grow up out of control because there is no predator to limit them. Biological invasion begins. All plants may die because they do not have water, nutrition or place to grow and multiply. Animals may die also because they have no food to eat. Then, all the biosphere and ecosystem are ruined. Besides, soil may get damaged too because GM plants absorb lots of nutrition and minerals. Therefore, after planting GM weeds, these fields go waste.

Environment is very important to human lives. If the environment has been polluted, human beings will suffer problems. Environment problems will not only affect the ecosystem but also be harmful to human beings. Some statists indicate that cultivation GM food on a massive scale may have bad influence in environment, such as water and air, and then, human may be under risk. Due to the close relationship between environment and human beings, environmental problem is a strongly evidence that genetically modified food could not be safe.

Since there is no official study or document showing that genetically modified food is dangerous, some people may think that GM food is not as dangerous as people are concerned about, and it can even be a new generation of people's lives. Because GM food can be produced in factories and field, and the volume can be huge, starvation and some disease arose from lacking of nutrition can disappear all around the world.

However, there is no negative study or document published does not mean that there is no problem. If nothing bad has happened, then, perhaps it will not occur in the future, but maybe the fact is that it is not long enough to show the bad effects. If the safety of GM food is certified positive, it is never late to extend. But if GM food is certified negativity, it kills people in a different way. It is immorally to take people from one problem out and put them in another unknown risk.

If people eat genetically engineered food for a long time, there is a prediction that toxins might gather in the human body. Also, some scientists believe that genetically engineered food will cause diseases. At the same time, it could affect the health of organisms. In addition, if the environment is damaged, as an indirectly way of injury, human beings will be no longer happiness.

As the saying goes that every coin has two sides, it has a negative effect even though the early purpose of inventing genetically engineered food is to increase nutrition. It is hard to say what will happen in the future. Scientists have not given a clearly explanation about the safety of GM food yet. They need to try their utmost to put forward a report that shows whether it is safe or not. If it is positive, people can start producing it and kill starvation and diseases. If it is negative, stop it as soon as possible so that people are prevented from suffering unpredictable pain. Before they come up with the report, it is better to avoid eating genetically modified food.