Health Effects Of Genetically Modified Foods

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Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) have replaced our diet with genetically altered foods, which have adversely affected human health as well as local communities. Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are a broad group of plants, animals, and bacteria that are engineered for a wide variety of applications ranging from agricultural production to scientific research. The types of potential hazards posed by GMO’s vary according to the type of organism being modified and its intended application. Most of the concern surrounding GMO’s relates to their potential for negative effects on human health. There are several types of potential health effects that could result from GMO’s. Genetically modified organisms can cause immune system problems, …show more content…
Evidence shows that genetically engineered foods trigger adverse immune system responses. A study done in Italy exposed that “the Bt-toxin produced in genetically modified Bt crops like corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses” (Mercola, 2012). When this theory was tested on mice, the immune system responses included elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, which are typically associated with allergies and infections, an increase in cytokines, which are associated with allergic and inflammatory responses, and elevated T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases. Studies are showing that GMO’s may make humans allergic to non-GMO foods. The biotech industry claims that “Bt-toxin is harmless to humans and mammals because the natural bacteria version has been used as a spray by farmers for years” (IRT, 2015). In reality, hundreds of people exposed to the Bt spray had allergic-type symptoms, and mice fed Bt had powerful immune responses and damaged intestines. GM soy drastically reduces digestive enzymes in mice. Since GMO’s can impair a person’s digestion, that person may become sensitive and allergic to a variety of foods. Mice fed Bt-toxin started having immune reactions to formerly harmless foods. Mice fed experimental GM peas also started reacting to a range …show more content…
There is an increasing number of bacterial strains that are becoming resistant to antibiotics. These bacteria develop resistance to certain antibiotics by creating antibiotic resistant genes through natural mutation. Antibiotic resistance is very dangerous because if a bacteria is resistant to antibiotics, it is harder to get rid of, which can make an infection worse and could cause fatal results. When a plant cell is genetically modified, a marker gene is needed to select for bacteria that carry the gene of interest. This is done by injecting a second marker gene that will enable the bacteria that has the gene of interest to survive in the presence of antibiotics. In other words, these genetically modified plants and foods are modified so that they are resistant to antibiotics. If these foods are eaten by humans, the resistance can transfer to humans, making them resistant to certain antibiotics. The concern is that the antibiotic resistance marker genes will transfer antibiotic resistance traits onto bacteria through a process called horizontal gene transfer. This is when an organism transfers genetic material to another organism that isn’t its offspring. Lorrin Pang, MD and MPH Advisor of the World Health Organization expressed her concerns about genetically engineered papaya in Hawaii by stating, “The genetically engineered papaya contains three antibiotic resistant marker genes. I am concerned

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