Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

According to a report entitled “GMO Myths and Truths,” genetic engineers are worried that genetically-engineered food is dangerous. It has been claimed that genetic engineering is an extension of natural plant breeding; however, natural breeding takes place only between related kinds of life “genetic engineering happens in a lab, where tissue cultured plant cells undergo a GM gene insertion process that couldn’t happen in nature.” According to the engineers, the problem is that genetic engineering is "imprecise and results can be unpredictable" due to change in the type of nutrition in food, how a crop performs and toxic effects. “Every generation of GMO crops interact with more organisms, creating more opportunities for unwanted side effects." Food regulations in regards to GMO can vary on a country-by-country basis, for example in the U.S. the FDA only uses a voluntary program to review GMO foods before they go on the market. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Based on a report by genetic engineers, GMO food crops are toxic in three ways: "The genetically modified gene itself; mutagenic or gene regulatory effects created by the GMO transformation process; and toxic residues created by farming practices."  Although GMO technology is improving in precision, engineers warn that accidents can happen because "plant biotechnologists don’t really know much at all about crop genomes--so inserting genes at a supposedly safe area could still lead to all sorts of side effects."