Everyone has heard about genetically modified organisms or GMOs. GMO’s differ from the genetic modifications that were done hundreds of years ago through selective breeding. But, both selective breeding and gene splicing have similar objectives. They both intend to create a ‘better’ species that benefits humans in some way.
Geneticists are capable of modifying the genetic structure of animals and plants directly, making bug-resistant and drought-resistant crops a reality. But you might be wondering, are there any risks to eating genetically modified foods? Why yes of course! Here are two health risks that can be associated with genetically modified foods.
1) Antibiotic Resistance
Genetic engineers use a lot of antibiotics in their experiments. Basically, they need antibiotics to guide their experiments. After the geneticists mess around with splicing the genes, they drown all of the cells with antibiotics to see which ones survive. The surviving cells are antibiotic-resistant, and the scientists know they have successfully adopted the added gene.
Organizations such as the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have made it clear that there are great risks in using antibiotics this often. The risk is that antibiotic “superbugs” could be artificially created, and if you became infected by the “superbugs”, there is little that doctors can do for you because the bug is already resistant to antibiotics.
This is a primary concern over GM technology. That is, genetic engineering has the capacity to create new types of proteins that people could potentially be allergic too. Genetic engineering can also increase the amount of a naturally occurring allergen already present in a food, giving people who are allergic more intense reactions. The GM process can also create allergens previously unknown to mankind, which we are pretty sure is bad.