The effect genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has on our health

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1418
Topics: Agriculture, Biotechnology, Environmental Issues, Food, GMO, Health
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Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are a wide range of plants, animals, and bacteria that are scientifically engineered with a wide range of application meant for human consumption.  The type of effects by genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) depend on the type of elements that is contained in a particular organism and its intended application. As much as it may be argued that genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are a source of food for many people and that it helps a lot in agriculture since the plants are resistant to diseases, they have potential hazards which can be detrimental to human health. Since a lot of countries in Europe and the United States have ensured that laws are in place to curb the grave health effects of genetically modified organisms, it means that the positive impacts of genetically modified organisms have been surpassed by its negative health effects.

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All genetically modified foods that have been regulated by various authorities are considered to be safe for human consumption while the tradition natural food is unregulated. There are several types human hazards brought forth by the consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). They include allergens, increased toxicity, antibiotic resistance and decreased nutrition. This paper critically examines different kinds of literature that have focused on the detrimental health effects and provides an analysis based on the negative health effects of the consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).

Jeffery, Michael I, Jeremy Firestone, and Karen Bubna-Litic. Biodiversity Conservation, Law And Livelihoods: Bridging The North-South Divide. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.

According to Jeffery, Firestone and Bubna-Litic, (488), genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) have side effects to many human such as allergens. Some chemicals contain on genetically modified food, catalyzes a chain of reaction that causes individuals to develop allergic reactions. Jeffery, Firestone, and Bubna-Litic, (488), suggests that when coming up with genetically modified plants, genes from one plant are transferred to another so as to come up with another species of plants. When this happen the chemical composition changes so as to have a reaction that can cause allergies. For instance, (Jeffery, Firestone and Bubna-Litic, 488)quotes that “Given the techniques of genetic modification, which requires the insertion of genes from one species into the genetic code of another, someone allergic to the donor species could suffer an allergic reaction by consuming the host species.”

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Food allergies is a common condition among many adults and children. In the United States alone, one percent of the children and two percent of the adults experience a different type of allergic reactions upon consumption of genetically modified foods. Allergic reactions in human being take place when a harmless protein enters a body and stimulates an immune response. Due to this, various biotechnology companies have been coerced to relinquish their developments regarding genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)

Weiss, Edith Brown, John H. Jackson, and Nathalie Bernasconi- Osterwalder. Reconciling Environment And Trade: Second Edition. 2nd ed. Brill, 2008. Print.

The authors of this book try to shun from the belief by scientists that the hazards caused by genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are more eminent in the environment that the human health (Weiss, Jackson and Osterwalder 632). The information in this book proves that when scientists do experiments on the hazards of genetically modified organism on human health, they always make it ambiguous.  “Experiments concerning the effects of GMOs on human health are also ambiguous, as humans not only consume food containing GMOs” (Weiss, Jackson and Osterwalder 632). The Authors suggest that the same carbohydrates that are added to the plants for it to produce are consumed by humans hence become toxic.

In agreement with Weiss, Jackson and Osterwalder (632), most plants produce substances which are toxic to human beings. The traditional natural plants produce low-level toxins which are not detrimental to human health. There are extremely large concerns of introducing a foreign genes into a different genes that can cause the production of high level toxic which affect humans adversely. Also, a new gene can interfere with the metabolic process of another plant that can cause harmful toxins to be produced. For instance, the production of potatoes which are disease resistant has led to the immense production of glycoalkaloids which can be harmful to the body of a human. It should be realized that genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are meant for humans and that if they cause adverse effect, they should not be used.

Nodoushani, Omid, Jayme Sintay, and Carol Stewart. “Genetically Engineered Food and Genetically Modified Organisms.” Competition Forum 13.1 (2015): 137.. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

According to Nodoushani, Omid, Jayme Sintay, and Carol Stewart, (137) the use and consumption of genetically modified organisms has little nutritional value to the bodies of human beings. The authors continue to discuss in the article that as much as there are enough testing to ensure that allergic reactions of genetically modified organisms, the little nutritional value remains a concern.

It has been scientifically proven that a genetically modified plant can have a lower nutritional value because it can make low nutrients available or make the nutrients indigestible by humans. An inserted gene which is a foreign gene into another plant has the potential to produce higher levels of phytate which reduce the nutrient value of any plant. For instance, for a genetically modified soybean, it has been established that it produces lower levels of phytoestrogen compounds which are momentous to prevent heart disease and also cancer.

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Goodyear-Smith, Felicity. “Health and Safety Issues about Genetically Modified Foods.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 25.4 (2001): 373. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

As per this article by Goodyear-Smith (373), the concept of how the genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) react to human drugs such as antibiotics has been brought to light. The article articulates that the enzymes which are produced by the genetically modified plants deter an antibiotic functioning in one’s body. For this reason, a lot of people render themselves not healed by antibiotics due to the consumption genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).  “Generally, the gene and the enzyme it produces that renders the antibiotic inactive are eliminated in subsequent processing,” (Goodyear-Smith 373)

In recent years, the health professionals have reiterated their concerns about the increased number of bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics. Bacteria show their resistance to the antibiotic by creating genes through the process of natural mutation. At present, scientists are not aware which type of genes in plants can cause the human body to develop a resistance to antibiotics. This concerned shows clearly how genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are detrimental to human being since they lead to people not being able to respond to treatment procedures. Also, the bacteria living in the gut of intestines can pick up the genes responsible for showing resistance to antibiotic from the genetically modified organisms’ foods.

Sharma, Priyanka, and Kavita Kalyandurgmath. “Determinants of Buying Intention for Genetically Modified Food.” ASBM Journal of Management 9.1 (2016): 70-82. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

This article by Priyanka, and Kalyandurgmath (70-82), provide an array of knowledge informing a reader that with the current climate change, genetically modified organisms is the only savior for the production of food for every human. This article suggests that as much as it has been proven that there are detrimental effects of genetically modified organisms on the health of human beings, there are factors which determine whether one can consume natural foods or genetically modified organisms. This article suggests that regardless of a consumer being equipped with the knowledge that genetically modified organisms are not good for one’s health, they still end up consuming it.

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Human beings are the type of people who are easily persuaded. Regardless of the useful messages that governments in various countries try to instill to their people on how genetically modified organisms cause ellergies, drug resistance, and low nutrition rate, human beings still consume these foods. The manufacturers of genetically modified organisms are very meticulous in coming up with promotional messages for the food. They present the food to be very nutritious and their outward look prove that the plants are very healthy.

In conclusion, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are experiencing a lot of resistance by the governments of all nations. Some may argue that since genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) have been existence for two decades, it has not served enough time to depict its harmfulness to the human health. The truth is, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) can be able to lower the nutrition value, increase toxicity, cause food allergies among others, thus are dangerous to human health.

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  1. Goodyear-Smith, Felicity. “Health and Safety Issues Pertaining to Genetically Modified Foods.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 25.4 (2001): 373. ProQuest. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  2. Jeffery, Michael I, Jeremy Firestone, and Karen Bubna-Litic. Biodiversity Conservation, Law And Livelihoods: Bridging The North-South Divide. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.
  3. Nodoushani, Omid, Jayme Sintay, and Carol Stewart. “Genetically Engineered Food and Genetically Modified Organisms.” Competition Forum 13.1 (2015): 136-41. ProQuest. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  4. Sharma, Priyanka, and Kavita Kalyandurgmath. “Determinants of Buying Intention for Genetically Modified Food.” ASBM Journal of Management 9.1 (2016): 70-82. ProQuest. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  5. Weiss, Edith Brown, John H. Jackson, and Nathalie Bernasconi- Osterwalder. Reconciling Environment And Trade: Second Edition. 2nd ed. Brill, 2008. Print.
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