Genetic modifications used in food and plants in modern time can lead to unforeseen consequences. The import of genetically modified food throughout the world is open to discussions in many countries. There are strong debates between EU and US as to promotion of such food in the territory of European states. The European Economic Community prohibited the import of genetically engineered crops because of the risk of danger this food can bring to humanity; still this issue caused a lot of contradictions on the international level.
According to the survey provided by International Council for Science foodstuffs containing genetically engineered crops are considered to be rather safe for eating; it was proved through various tests carried out over these products. Nevertheless, the lack of negative effects provided in the surveys does not necessarily mean that there is no risk of danger in such food. The scientists state that one cannot exclude the possibility of such effects being of long term character.
It is connected with the fact that traditional food containing genetically engineered crops is abundant in various harmful toxins and allergens. Besides, one of the most serious problems connected with the nature of such food is connected with genes transference from food being consumed into human micro-organisms or cells. It was proved that genetically engineered crops contained antibiotic-resistance genes; so, in case such genes are transferred into the human bacteria or cells, the negative effects could result in the development and growth of antibiotic-resistant strains within bacteria.
Despite the fact that the risk of such consequences is quite low, still it exists and it can explain all the debates as to the danger brought by such food. (Scientific Facts on Genetically Modified Crops, 2005) On the other hand the usage of genetically engineered modifications can lead to some benefits in the quality of plants and foods through lowering of plants disease damage and insect harmful influence on them; there is also greater availability of using affordable food from appropriate soil. So, in case these facts were documented in a proper way, the level of contradictions would completely decrease. (Shah, 2002)
The USA expressed great concern as to EU’s ban on the import of many genetically engineered foods. The problem is connected with the establishment of barrier for international trade fulfilled by US food manufacturers. At the beginning of the 21st century the value of such agricultural trade was estimated at more than $57 billion; the prohibitions on import provided by EU could result in the threat to successful profitable international cooperation.
The way out was offered by European Committee on Public Health and Environment in 2002 and caused misunderstandings on the part of American agricultural community. The European Parliament’s Community required all genetically engineered foods to be labeled with the modified ingredients to be traced. Besides, the production process of modified foods should be compulsory documented. New terms provided by European Committee affect US profits got from agriculture export. (Smith, 2003)
A lot of scientists throughout the world consider that humanity does not suffer the lack of food that is why there is no need in distribution of genetically engineered crops leading to deep risk of danger to human health. The unforeseen and unpredictable consequences resulting from the usage of such food may lead to inevitable destruction of human organism. The scientists believe that people are to eat only natural products; the creation of modified crops is just a matter of business. Genetically engineered elements are to be used for protection of plants and animals from harmful toxic things, rather than for human foods development and improvement.
Scientific Facts on Genetically Modified Crops. Published under the authority of Green Facts Scientific Board. 2005. Web.
Smith, Jeffrey. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods. 2003.
Shah, Anup. Genetically Engineered Food. Global Issues. 2002. Web.