The Food Biotechnology and Nutrition

Most people want to eat food that is healthy and natural, there is debate, however, as to what that means exactly. Food biotechnology has had pushback from consumer protection groups that are wary of modifications to food. In terms of human safety, a common perception is that GMO containing foods have been inadequately tested for the presence of unpredicted allergens or toxins which can lead to harmful results. GMOs could help in impoverished countries the most and make a dramatic impact on the lives of the millions of people who live in poverty around the world.

Despite the compelling criticisms of GMO’s, they world cannot afford to be GMO free. The efficiency and crop productivity has helped assuage many of the food scarcity issues in developing countries with tropical climates. Food security is major issue in developing countries because of natural poor soil, natural disasters, and political instability. Food availability is one issue but affordability is another. Many don’t have the money to buy food to satisfy their caloric or nutrient needs. This tends to occur in poor countries whose main export is food products. This illustrates the global inequity in food production and distribution that has been difficult to solve or alleviate, despite intense efforts in the latter half of the 20 The century (Johnson- Green, 2000, p. 16). Biotechnology has the potential to increase food security. Biotechnology can also help fight poverty and malnutrition. Many people in the developing world are deficient in vitamin A and there are GMOs like golden rice that could address this. Some countries like Laos plan outright bans against the importation or planting of recombinant crops, whereas others like India are attempting to develop their own biotechnology industry and are have widely adopted GMOs(Johnson-Green, 2000, p. 17). Once biotechnology develops surely poverty rate must reduce.

Ensuring that food is safe and is not contaminated with pathogens or pesticides. Food nourishes the body, and the production, processing, and distribution of food is crucial to global food security. It is also a crucial part of every nation’s economy and political stability. Richer countries consumer a greater variety of food and have a greater amount of avalibilty. (Johnson-Green, 2000, p. 16).

Many aspects of food biotechnology are virtually invisible to the consumer. Microbial products are increasingly common ingredients in processed foods, and the diagnostic tools used by the food industry to maintain food safety often have a biotechnological component. Using processes that involve biotechnology are not new, processes like yeastsare added to carbohydrate substrates such as sucrose; the fungi use these substrates as source of carbon and energy, and ferment them into ethanol and carbon dioxide. With no yeast people would not be able to create the unique flavors in many different drinks. And also yeasts are used in bread making that the production of carbon dioxide by yeast results in the formation of gas pockets, which drive the rising process (Johnson-Green, 2000, p. 13). The GMO’s industry has had trouble swaying public opinion in favor of GMO with many long term studies coming under scrutiny. We can achieve a better life including farmers, because biotechnology could also decrease the reliance of producers on chemical fertilizers, while retaining the benefits of“western” agriculture high yields with reduced labor inputs(Johnson-Green, 2000, p. 17). And GM foods or GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. Genetically modified foods have made a big splash in the news lately because some environmental organization and public interest groups have been actively protesting against GM foods. Recently a controversial study about the effects of genetically-modified corn pollen on monarch butterfly caterpillars has brought the issues of genetic engineering to the forefront of the public consciousness.Genetic engineering

, on the other hand, can create plants with the exact desired trait very rapidly and with great accuracy. For example, plant geneticists can isolate a gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different plant. Genetically-modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world’s hungerand malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yield and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. Yet there are many challenges ahead for governments, especially in the areas of safety testing, regulation, international policy and food labelling. Many people feel that genetic engineering is the inevitable wave of the future and that we cannot afford to ignore a technology that has such enormous potential benefits. However, we must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm to human health and the environment as a result of our enthusiasm for this powerful technology.

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