In the science article “Genetically Modified Foods and Social Concerns”, from the journal Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology, the authors Maghari and Ardekani address the social concerns of the presence of genetically modified organisms. The authors have considered the negative effects of biotechnology on human beings, domestic animals, and agricultural crops. It has been evident from this scientific article that studies continue to take place to investigate the impacts of genetically modified foods on human health (Maghari & Ardekani, 2011). In this article, the main social concerns of the genetically modified foods are the possibility of toxins, antibiotic resistance, nutritional changes, and development of allergic reactions.
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Genetically modified organisms come into being as a result of inserting genes from bacterial, animals, plants, or viruses into unrelated species. Scientists have used a number of techniques to achieve a successful transfer of genes between different organisms. Some of the techniques include electroporation, microinjection, and the use of Agrobacterium. Therefore, people acquire the genetically modified foods from genetically engineered organisms. Some people consider the consumption of genetically modified foods as a threat to human health, but others suggest that these foods have fortified nutrients for improved human health. The proponents of biotechnology assert that biotech crops can portray desirable properties, such as resistance to viruses or insects, tolerance to herbicides, and extremely nutritious (Maghari & Ardekani, 2011).
China, the United States, Canada, and Argentina have been the main producers of genetically modified crops in the world. It has been evident from the article that developing countries are adopting the biotech crops at a higher rate than is the case with industrialized countries. This is because of the belief that the genetically modified crops will alleviate poverty and hunger, which is a common phenomenon in many developing countries. While people claim that biotechnology improves the productivity of food, many developing countries have been experiencing food shortage. Therefore, adoption of biotechnology does not support the claim of alleviation of food shortage. In the contemporary society, the main social concern is the long-term negative effects of the biotech crops, including toxicity, antibiotic resistance, nutritional changes, and development of allergic reactions, on human health. For instance, studies have shown that soya allergy has in increased significantly in the United Kingdom and United States over the past ten years. Morgellons disease epidemic has also been evident in the United States. However, the Agri-biotech companies like Monsanto and the affiliated scientists assert that genetically modified foods are friendly to human health (Maghari & Ardekani, 2011). This can be a mere bias since these the Agri-biotech companies are aiming at making enough money from the biotechnology.
Consumers in different countries demand that scientists should be independent so that to avoid bias in the results they get, regarding the effects of genetically modified foods on human health. It has also been necessary for companies to label their genetically food products for consumers to make informed choice. However, the law of compulsory labeling has not undergone enactment in Argentina, the United States, and Canada, which are the main producers of the genetically modified foods (Maghari & Ardekani, 2011).
In conclusion, the issue of genetic engineering of organisms has been controversial since scientists produced the first genetically modified organisms. The basis of the debate is to avoid suffering among human beings. The proponents of biotechnology assert that genetically modified foods will alleviate poverty and hunger. On the other hand, the opponents assert that the genetically modified foods may lead to toxicity, development of allergies, and antibiotic resistance. Therefore, opponents of genetically modified foods request people not to consume the genetically modified foods to avoid deterioration of their health. Compulsory labeling of the genetically modified foods is crucial because consumers will make informed choices (Maghari & Ardekani, 2011).
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