Genetically Modified Foods: Promises, Challenges and Safety Assessments
Applied Food Biotechnology,
Vol. 4 No. 4 (2017),
Background and Objective: Application of genetically modified organisms in the agriculture sector and food industry began since last years of 20th century. Since then this technology has become a central part of the broader public controversy about the advantages and safety of these products. This article has tried to review aspects of these types of organisms and foods.
Results and Conclusion: Genetically modified technology has potential to overcome agricultural problems, such as biotic and abiotic issues by enhancing pests and herbicides resistance, drought tolerance, fast ripening, and finally enhancing yield and nutritional quality. Besides these revolutionary advantages, during the last decades some potential human, animal and environmental risks have been taken in account for these organisms or foods. However, no scientific evidence exists adequately about their harmful human or animal effects, and also, some new scientific and management methodologies (new technologies and regulations) have been developed to mitigate the environmental risks. Some challenges such as pest adaptation are being solved by refuge technology, gene pyramiding and insertion of best-coupled primers through the known conditions reducing unintended outcomes including silencing, activation or rearrangement of non-target genome pieces. However, it does not mean that no harmful effect will happen in the future. Therefore, it is required that before release of any genetically modified crop, all requested risk assessments be performed, and then post release monitoring be done to follow the possible gene flow and prevent any potential disastrous contaminations to the food chain. Finally, it could be concluded that the safe usage of this technology, by considering all nationally and internationally accepted environmental and health safety assessment protocols, can help us to use advantages of this technology in agriculture, medicine and industry. However, more safety evaluations are being done frequently.
Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interests to declare.
- ▪ Environmental risks ▪ Genetically modified foods ▪ GMO advantages ▪ Health risks ▪ Risk assessment ▪ Safety concerns
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