In the past century, scientists have been looking for methods to improve food production in the agricultural sector. This was until 1994 when the first genetically modified food (GMF) was introduced. The Flavr Savr tomato was genetically modified to slow its ripening, softening and rotting process. The process was a success and was embraced by many farmers because it yielded agricultural products with higher durability, nutritional value and a low price. GMFs have been beneficial to farmers and the consumers of products; however, to date, some people have objections to the GMF findings.
GMFs contain some ingredients from a plant with altered genetic structure. Foods produced by genetic modification are resistant to insect damage and plant viruses and tolerant to herbicides. Due to the ability to resist insect damage, fewer pesticides are applied to the crops. The capability to resist is achieved after introducing a gene to the plant for toxin production. Farmers do not have to till the soil to get rid of weeds when using herbicide-tolerant crops.
The foods are safe since their allergenicity, toxicity, the stability of inserted genes and nutritional effects are continuously assessed before they are released for human consumption. Despite the numerous studies and growing use of genetically modified foods, most people have less information about them. (Lefebvre et al. 1). The majority claim that GMFs are likely to be a root of health problems because they can cause allergies and contain toxins that can harm the body (Shen et al. 6). Their views on GMF vary with their age and also their level of concern.
In conclusion, GMFs have significantly impacted the agricultural sector and consumers; however, some people have opposing views on the topic. The benefits of genetic modification include producing foods resistant to insect damage, plant viruses and tolerant to herbicides. Nevertheless, according to some individuals, they can be harmful to health because they contain allergies and toxins. GMFs in the markets have passed all safety measures, and there have been no reported effects on human health due to the consumption of the foods. They have also yielded practical economic and agricultural benefits in counties where they are used.
Lefebvre, Sarah, et al. “Consumer Perceptions of Genetically Modified Foods: A Mixed-Method Approach”. Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 36, no. 1, 2019, pp. 113-123.
Shen, Chen, et al. “Evaluation of Adverse Effects/Events of Genetically Modified Food Consumption: A Systematic Review of Animal and Human Studies”. Environmental Sciences Europe, vol. 34, no. 1, 2022, pp. 1-28.