Science students weigh in on GM food controversy

By Richard Fredendall and Patricia Turturro |Coyote Contributors|

Genetically Modified (GM) food has gotten a lot of bad press lately. Thus, it is time to set the record straight about what we know about GM food.

GM foods are created by taking genetic material (DNA) and inserting it into the genome of the organism being modified.

Genetically modifying food is done to increase yields, prevent pest damage, and enable growth in harsh environments to name a few reasons.

Many people seem to think that these modified foods will be harmful to us. This is simply not true, and you will not grow extra limbs.

Current research has shown no difference in immune-related organs in mammals fed GM food from birth according to The Journal of the Food Hygienic Society; there is no production of antibodies for proteins produced by the GM-soybeans fed to rats and mice.

This means there is no immune reaction produced by the rats and mice from the GM food. There are no linked disorders, diseases, impairments, or any other health problems related to GM food.

Investigators from The Journal of Food Composition and Analysis have looked at the difference within the molecules of GM rice and non-GM rice and found no difference.

The effect of GM crops on our population could be very helpful. GM crops have enabled the increase in yield, and limited the damage from pests in developing countries according to Science Mag.

Now imagine being able to allow other developing countries to grow sufficient crops. There would be no dependence on importing food from other countries making food cheaper.

We can develop crops to withstand desiccation, freezing temperatures, and damage from pests.

I hope this brings a little insight into the topic of GM food.  I also want to bring to light that we do not know exactly how GM crops will affect the ecology of the various environments, good or bad.

This is why we need more scientists to answer these questions. You cannot be afraid of something because you do not know anything about it.

The only way to figure out these problems is to ask questions and try to find out the answers

In the mean time, don’t be afraid of what you don’t know.

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