The Effects of GMO Foods on Human Health, genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods are plants, animals, microbes, etc., and their original genetic makeup has been altered using genetic engineering. It produces new genes in these foods that are not naturally occurring, nor are they growing rapidly through traditional food consumption. Ironically, people are not even aware that they are consuming genetically modified foods. According to a 2013 statement from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, 70-80% of food consumed in the United States has been genetically modified. Similarly.
In another study conducted by the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, it was revealed that only 26% of people in the United States thought they had eaten GM food. These foods have a serious impact on human health and their full range is still under investigation. This article provides some of the key effects of genetically modified foods on human health, as follows.
Effects of GMO Foods on Human Health
1. Food Allergies
One of the major health problems of genetically modified foods is the ability to produce new allergens in foods consumed by humans. Food allergies are mainly caused by proteins, and any transfer of genetic material between one host and another will result in the production of new proteins.
Genetically modified foods can introduce new allergens that are not found in traditional variants of the same food, which leads to food allergies. When new proteins in genetically modified foods come from sources known to cause human allergies or sources that are not consumed as human food, it can cause human immune responses and food allergies. According to one study, food allergies affect 5% of children and 2% of children in the United States and are a major health problem.
2. Antibiotic Resistance
Genetic engineers and biotechnologists are taking advantage of antibiotic resistance in genetically modified foods. They introduced a new gene to the cell that makes it resistant to antibiotics. Once genetically modified foods are antibiotic resistant, high levels of antibiotics can be cultured or fed. Eating such foods can cause serious health problems in humans.
3. High Pesticide Exposure
Most GM foods have been carefully designed to be pesticide resistant. Once the plant is resistant to pesticides, heavy pesticides can be treated. This is done to kill weeds growing with the plants and is not resistant to pesticides. However, when the same plant exposed to a high pesticide dose is consumed by humans, it can cause many health disorders and serious diseases.
4. Other Genetic Disorders
When new genetic material is introduced into the host, it can lead to unpredictable behaviour of pre-existing genetic material. It can even cause cancer. In one example, when a cow is injected with a genetically modified hormone, it is found that milk is a significantly high level of a compound called insulin-like growth factor 1, which is associated with causing various types of cancer in humans.
5. Decreased Nutritional Value
Compared with traditional foods, the nutritional value of genetically modified foods is generally low. It usually occurs when GM foods make nutrients unusable or indigestible for human consumption.