To eat or not, that is the question

Genetically modified food items may lead to cancers, paralysis and weak eyesight

To eat or not, that is the question

In today’s world, though humans may have significantly intervened in the natural processes of growth, the results have not always been fruitful. The re-designing or interference is posing a huge threat to health in the form of cancers, paralysis and weak eyesight in some.

This interference without a doubt also includes Genetically Modified Foods (GMF), which is done to not only dramatically increase the overall production but also reduce the cost of input of the crop.

But, it is the very same food which is posing a serious threat to lives.
Activists like Sheel Kumar, environmentalist and manager in the curriculum development of Environmental Science and Geography at Delhi University clearly doubts whether, “GMF is actually safe? That is the big question.”

“According to various studies and evidences genetically modified ingredients may cause cancergrowth of malignant tumourseffects to the ecosystem and biodiversity. Food and water when contaminated with genetically engineered material could increase the growth of mat with humans,” says Sheel.

“It is an unnatural way of producing food. There will always be unknown long term when inducing unnatural ways to change the natural traits of crops.”

The major genetically modified crops are Alalfa (grazing grass for animals), tomatoes, corn, potatoes, papayas etc.  But now, genetic modificati­o­ns are also being introdu­c­ed in several other vegetables and fruits like melons, brinjals, cucumbers, gourds, apples etc.

Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology that feeds more people with better food. Sheel feels that, “With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to incre­a­se the sales of bio-engineered products to dependent farmers. The indiscriminate use of GM food consumption as well as production has to be stalled.”

GMF production, say its opponents, not only increases the toxicity of the soil, it may also prove vulnerable in the time of failure of the crops.

However, the picture is not all dismal. Genetic modification, studies indicate, may provide sturdier plants which would be able to withstand weather extremes. drought, tolerant and salt tolerant crops, foods with a longer shelf life, disease and insect resistant crops that require less pesticides and herbicides.

So even as the debate of ‘to eat GMF or not’ rages, rem­e­m­ber to take a balanced view when it comes to your grub!   

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