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Genetically Modified Organisms

8/17 9:18:00

Mr. Rapitis,

I am a journalist for The Outlook of Monmouth University. Currently I am doing research into the field of genetically modified organisms with specific relation to how without proper labeling laws people may be suseptable to allergic reactions from ingredients not mentioned. I was wondering if you had any insight/information into this area with specificity to the types of chemicals etc that could cause these reactions and the best ways to avoid it. Thank you.

Hello Dan!
   Thank you for your interesting nutrition question.
Use of bioengineered crops has increased dramatically since their introduction in the mid-1990s. In 1998 as much as 44 percent of acreage of soybean, cotton, and corn were grown from biotech seeds.

   Genetically modified crops are grown commercially or in field trials in over 40 countries and on 6 continents.   Currently, genetically engineered foods are generally regarded as safe. There are no reports of illness or injury due to genetically engineered foods. Each new genetically engineered food will have to be judged individually.
  However, there are circumstances that can make the genetically modified organisms particularly dangerous and therefore necessitating more scrutiny prior to their development. Such cases are:

-When organisms can develop and proliferate alone without human intervention.
-When there is a possibility of genetic material exchange between the genetically modified organism and the wild variant of the same organism. For example,  salmon which is genetically modified in order to grow faster. A real danger of this modification is that this new fish may displace and put in danger the survival of other normal fish species.

-When there are not enough experience and data about the interactions between the genetically modified organism and the environment
-When the modification confers to the organism a significant survival advantage in a specific environment.

-You can stay current on information about GMO contamination at http://www.gmcontaminationregister.org

For more answers to your nutrition questions check out "Ask the Nutritionists" by George Rapitis at www.authorhouse.com

-George Rapitis, BSc. Nutritionist
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