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Solutions: STAY NATURAL Envisioned disaster: GENETIC MODIFICATION DUE TO USE OF GM CROPS Area: PREPAREDNESS Name :Anwesha Ghosh India
Predicted Disaster: Modification of Human DNA due to consumption of Genetically Modified Foods and Products. Reason of Selection: Increased use of Genetically Modified food. GM crops are fast replacing the conventional food available in the market. There is an increased demand of GM crops and human dependence on them due to a wide range of reasons. But the ill- effects of the same are being ignored. Common people are unaware and hardly any efforts are being made to make them aware of the consequences.
What are genetically modified (GM) organisms and GM foods? Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non-related species. Such methods are used to create GM plants – which are then used to grow GM food crops. Risks : The main problem concerning the use of GM products lies in the factthat it effects the DNA. Changes at the genetic level or in the Genotype of an organism is not reflected easily. These changes could possibly surface after generations. So, the results of our work will have to be faced by the future generations. Ref: Definitions are as given by WHO
FURTHER RISKS: Gene transfer: Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes has been encouraged by a recent FAO/WHO expert panel. Out crossing: The movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “out crossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with those grown using GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. This risk is real, as was shown when traces of a maize type which was only approved for feed use appeared in maize products for human consumption in the United States of America. Several countries have adopted strategies to reduce mixing, including a clear separation of the fields within which GM crops and conventional crops are grown. Ref: Questions and answers prepared by WHO
We need more and better testing methods before making GM foods available for human consumption. We need more and better testing methods before making GM foods available for human consumption. How can the public make decisions about use of genetically modified (GM) foods when there is so little information available about its safety? So the Idea is to make the public aware of the possible ill-effects of the GM products!! The most effective way to prevent the disaster is by being ‘’prepared’’ for it. SOLUTION : WE NEED MORE AND BETTER TESTING METHODS BEFORE MAKING GM CROPS AVAILABLE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.
One has to agree with the piece in Sciencethat there are many opinions but scarce data on the potential health risks of GM food crops, even though these should have been tested for and eliminated before their introduction. Our present data base is woefully inadequate. Moreover, the scientific quality of what has been published is, in most instances not up to expected standards. If, as claimed, our future is dependent on the success of the promise of genetic modification delivering wholesome, plentiful, more nutritious and safe GM foods, the inescapable conclusion of this review is that the present crude method of genetic modification has so far not delivered these benefits and the promise of a superior second generation is still in the future. Although it is argued by some that small differences between GM and non-GM crops have little biological meaning, it is clear that most GM and parental line crops fall short of the definition of “substantial equivalence.” In any case, this crude, poorly defined and unscientific concept outlived its possible previous usefulness and we need novel methods and concepts to probe into the compositional, nutritional/toxicological and metabolic differences between GM and conventional crops and into the safety of the genetic techniques used in developing GM crops if we want to put this technology on a proper scientific foundation and allay the fears of the general public. We need more science, not less. REF: Scarcity of safety tests by WHO
AVOID USE OF GENETIC MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES ON CONSUMABLE ITEMS
HOLD PRESENTATIONS AND CAMPAIGNS TO MAKE PUBLIC AWARE OF ILL-EFFECTS
HAVE REGULAR LAB TESTS TO MONITOR EFFECTS OF GM CROPS AND PRODUCTS ON HUMAN HEALTH AND ECOLOGY
BE HAPPY WITH WHAT MOTHER NATURE PROVIDES US WITH !!
TARGET: TO MINIMISE USE OF GM CROPS AND PRODUCTS AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS. HUMANS HAVE THE INTELLECTUAL ABILITY BUT NATURE HAS TIME AND AGAIN PROVED ITSELF SUPERIOR TO HUMANS.TOO MUCH MODIFICATION IS LIKE PLAYING AROUND WITH NATURE.THERE MAY BE A NEED OF GM CROPS TO FEED THE EVER INCREASING POPULATION BUT THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO DO THE SAME.WE HAVE TO STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR OWN SAFETY!
USE OF GM CROPS HAVE TO BE REDUCED. WE HAVE TO BECOME DEPENDENT ON NATURE FOR OUR SURVIVAL. CONVENTIONAL FOOD OR NON-GM CROPS SHOULD BE USED. WAYS TO INCREASE THEIR PRODUCTION HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT. THIS WILL GIVE SCIENTISTS ADEQUATE TIME TO WORK AND CONDUCT RESEARCH ON GM CROPS.THEY CAN THEN BE USED WHEN PROVED COMPLETELY SAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION!!