Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Food Allergies And Genetically Modified Foods

Bioengineered food is increasing on our supermarket shelves. This is something we deal with whether we pay attention to it or not. 


The link above says the following about genetically engineered foods:

"Genetically engineered foods have had foreign genes (genes from other plants or animals) inserted into their genetic codes.

Genetic engineering can be done with plants, animals, or microorganisms. Historically, farmers bred plants and animals for thousands of years to produce the desired traits. For example, they produced dogs ranging from poodles to Great Danes, and roses from sweet-smelling miniatures to today's long-lasting, but scent-free reds.

Selective breeding over time created these wide variations, but the process depended on nature to produce the desired gene. Humans then chose to mate individual animals or plants that carried the particular gene in order to make the desired characteristics more common or more pronounced.

Genetic engineering allows scientists to speed this process up by moving desired genes from one plant into another -- or even from an animal to a plant or vice versa."

I am not a big fan of genetically modified food for several reasons. The biggest one is testing, or lack thereof.

They make a genetically modified food and whip it right out onto the market in no time. In nature the process takes much much longer to change a plant or food animal than genetic engineering. There is plenty of time to not eat it if there turns out to be problems with the gradual changes.

When a genetically modified food, comes right out from under the microscope onto the field and then onto your plate that is really different than the way nature does it. If there is a problem, it happens inside you.

One of these problems that has already arisen is allergies. Lots of people have many different kinds of food allergies. Some of those food allergies cause anaphylactic shock. That is when your respiratory passages swell up so much that you can't breathe. If you don't get medical help fast enough, it will kill you.

Allergies are a dominant trait. That means that every generation has more people who are allergic. That includes food allergies. 

Right now, it is not necessary to even label food that has genetically modified food in it. That means that if people have food allergies, they can't even tell what it was that put them into anaphylactic shock. Some people have to eat only organic food to try to avoid eating genetically modified foods with genes spliced into them from unknown other plants or animals. 

As you may have noticed, organic foods can be rather pricey. This is an unnecessary hardship on people who have food allergies.

Most of the rest of the world labels foods that are genetically modified. There is no good reason why the USA can not do the same thing. This can save people with food allergies a lot of pain and trouble. It can even save lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment